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28 NAVY NEWS, JANUARY 2011


Bob is fi rst Royal in key Faslane post


● Capt Darren Bone


Offi cer at heart of ISAF HQ


A ROYAL Navy officer has returned home following a twelve- month deployment to Afghanistan which saw him working at the heart of the international effort to stabilise the country. Capt Darren Bone worked for


International Security Assistance Force Commander Gen David Petraeus at the ISAF headquarters in Kabul, setting up a strategic engagement branch to create links between ISAF and the Afghan government.


Capt Bone previously worked on the MOD Afghanistan strategy desk in London and, as part of his role, had visited the country on several short occasions. He said: “As I had been involved


A ROYAL Marines NCO has become the first green beret to take up a key post at Clyde


Naval Base. WO1 Bob Cawley RM has been appointed Base Warrant Officer at Faslane, although he is not new to the base, having previously served there with Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines several years ago. Since then Bob has been assigned as the Unit Sergeant Major at Royal Marines Reserves (RMR) Scotland in Govan and most recently served as Command Warrant Officer Royal Marines at Naval Command Headquarters in Portsmouth, working with the Divisional and Regimental Support Team. “As a Royal Marine I wear a different uniform to most at the base,” said Bob. “But I am always aware of the wider Naval Service and therefore the part we all play towards achieving the collective requirements of that Service. “In my


last


in the strategy for three years it was great to see the tactical side of things. “It was my first time working on


job at Naval


Command Headquarters I was privileged to get a picture of the much wider Naval Service and believe this has prepared me well for my appointment. “The Royal Navy is, of course,


a US Army-led land operation and as a Naval officer I was extremely proud and felt as though we were making a real contribution. “There are huge complexities in


working with 46 different countries who are all trying to achieve the same aim, but I think our team met the challenge extremely well. “The tour of 53 weeks does sound like a substantial time away but I did get to go home as often as I could – and I kept in regular touch with my family by phone. “I have only been home now for a few days so I’m looking forward to spending some quality time with them.”


comprised of four fighting arms – the Surface Fleet, the Submarine Flotilla, the Fleet Air Arm and the Royal Marines. “I keep that very much in mind, and, while it


is a bit of a milestone that I am the first


● Joseph Latizia at Dartmouth with Commander BRNC, Cdr Andy Hancock


Picture: Craig Keating, VT Flagship


Filling in the gaps


at BRNC


in that history, particularly for the period when BRNC served as the US Navy HQ from December 1943 in the run up to D-Day. But


● WO1 Bob Cawley RM, the new Base Warrant Offi cer at Clyde


Royal Marine assigned as the Base Warrant Officer,


at the


end of the day I share the same concerns as many of the sailors and Royal Marines that operate from Faslane.”


Like his predecessor, Bob’s


main role will be to act as an information conduit between the Command and the other ranks at the site. It


is an important role which


ensures that all personnel get the opportunity to forward their views


Dr Picture: PO(Phot) Ian Arthur RNR


and concerns to higher echelons of command,


and therefore


have their chance to influence their future desires, particularly regarding accommodation, catering, retail and leisure facilities at the establishment.


Visitor of note


Capt Bone will now be taking up a new role at the MOD’s Permanent Joint Headquarters in Northwood following leave. There are a total of 639


Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel deployed on Operation Herrick in Afghanistan, with the Royal Navy sailors deploying on a one-in, one-out basis. They are trained at the RN Pre-deployment Training and Mounting Centre at Portsmouth Naval Base, and mainly take on roles in logistics,


administration and operations. Officer In Command of the


Centre Lt Cdr Pat O’Callaghan said: “These are personnel from across the Navy with specialist skills that are required to serve in Afghanistan. “They spend four weeks with


● Maj Jim Dresner RM with Cdr Bertie Vigrass First and last (for now) intelligence,


JOINT Force Harrier hosted a special guest for the final Taranto Night at RAF Cottesmore. Cdr Bertie Vigrass RNR (Rtd) joined the RN for pilot training on November 11 1940 – the day of the raid on Taranto – and joined 829 NAS on his 21st birthday. Bertie was thus a pilot of the


us learning valuable skills for theatre, some of it very new and very different to what they do on a day-to-day basis in ships and submarines. “We train up to 80 personnel 12 times a year so there is a constant rotation in the main operating bases, the Forward Operating Bases,


and also working with the Afghan National Army.”


Planning for headquarters in Kabul


first fixed-wing aircraft flown by the Navy’s Fleet Air Arm and oversaw the last Taranto Night for a Naval fixed-wing aircraft – for


the time being. The


following day Maj Jim


Dresner RM, senior pilot of 800 NAS, showed Cdr Vigrass the cockpit of a Harrier GR9. The veteran pilot was struck by the complexity of it, remarking that one of the worst things that could happen in a Swordfish was for the Observer to drop his pencil over the side which meant he could not maintain the plot board to find the carrier again...


HMS HURWORTH’S sponsor has paid a visit to the ship almost 27 years after her launch. Lady Hallifax was the wife of Admiral Sir David Hallifax, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander, when the


ship went down the


slipway in 1984 – her husband, who died in 1992, went on to become Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle. He was also Chief of Staff at


Northwood when Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands in 1982, and went on to organise the staff for the resultant tri-Service operation to retake the islands – an episode which he later recalled as one of his greatest professional challenges.


The visit to the ship comes shortly after Hurworth’s


sailors


visited the minehunter’s namesake hunt in North Yorkshire to reacquaint themselves with their affiliates.


Lady Hallifax was given a tour of the ship and briefed about her recent deployments to the Gulf, as well as being given an idea of the schedule ahead.


The Hunt-class ship’s


● Lady Hallifax tests the miniature hunting horn she presented to HMS Hurworth in 1984


Picture: LA(Phot) Chris Mumby


Commanding Officer, Lt Cdr Richard Goldstone, said Lady Hallifax was a very keen supporter and “one of the leading authorities on the ship’s career so far.” He added: “This is a very


important event for us and we have been looking forward to seeing her, showing her around the ship and strengthening the ties with our ship’s sponsor.”


afternoon in the Jane Harrold has now College


former Third Bosun’s Mate Joseph Letizia, of Connecticut. Joseph joined BRNC a few


company


Archivist spent an of


conversations during his time here we have something to actively archive.”


when he arrived was actually how many more trees there were in the grounds,” said Mrs McCarthy. “There were obvious moments


first observation


weeks short of his 18th birthday in January 1944 and was part of the third wave on to Utah Beach that June, in charge of a 50ft LCM. “Joseph is an amazing gentleman whose vivid recollections of his time spent in the college have certainly helped in painting the picture of life here during that time,” said Dr Harrold. “As we recorded our


Roberta McCarthy, the VT Flagship college tours administrator. “Joseph’s


His visit had been arranged by


THE history of Britannia Royal Naval College and the training of officers in the Senior Service is well recorded, including the evacuation of cadets to Eton Hall in Cheshire following Luftwaffe bombing raids in September 1942. There are, however, some gaps


of very personal reflection, but it was fun to hear him speak of the wonderful jelly tarts and apple turnovers from a local bakery he used to enjoy, particularly if he missed breakfast. “He certainly had a soft spot for


so welcome and that is how I remember Dartmouth in 1944 and it was such a privilege to be here both then and now,” said Joseph. “The college doesn’t appear


NAVY pilot Lt Pete Higgins has been awarded a Green Endorsement, the Fleet Air Arm’s highest commendation, for his part in a mercy dash off Africa. Lt Higgins was deployed for


Christmas VISITORS to Portsmouth Naval Base enjoyed a white Christmas – at least for a few minutes. Initial figures showed that around 23,500 people attended the three-day Victorian Festival of Christmas, and there was the added bonus of the odd flurry of real snow to go along with that produced by machines. Organisers say the event is going from strength to strength, and bookings are already being taken for the 12th version, on November 25-27 2011.


seven months with 217 Flight, 815 Naval Air Squadron, on board HMS Chatham,


patrols off Somalia. In mid-February a distress call from a merchantman requested help for a sailor with intense abdominal pain – the man required life-saving surgery. Chatham’s Lynx was undergoing maintenance, but Lt Higgins,


Flight Commander, ordered the aircraft to be made serviceable as soon as possible. On start-up it was discovered that


as


the cyclic trim was unserviceable – this device makes it much easier for the pilot to operate the helicopter


conducting anti-piracy Pilot rewarded for mercy dash Diploma time


smoothly. But because of the urgent nature of the mission, and after careful consideration and discussion, they took off.


staff at


was cluttered and cramped, and the sea caused it to pitch and roll badly, but the patient was lifted from the ship and transferred ashore via the frigate.


we had to attempt the casualty evacuation or the patient would have died. “We just got on and did our job and I am honoured to be receiving this endorsement for my part in what was a whole team effort.” Lt Higgins recently joined the Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) organisation where he has taken up an appointment as a Senior Warfare Officer.


Lt Higgins said: “I knew that The upper deck of the freighter


to have physically changed that much, but the town seems so much bigger now.”


PERSONAL development is a buzzword in the RN these days, as the Royal Naval School of Marine Engineering has demonstrated. Capt Graham Watts presented nine members of his


● Lt Pete Higgins RN receives his Green Endorsement from Brig Mark Noble RM, Commanding Officer of HMS Heron Picture: LA(Phot) Keith Morgan, RN Photographer of the Year


HMS Sultan with their BTEC Level 5 Diplomas in Professional Management certificates. Having sat through a day of lessons including identifying skills for effective time management, what makes a winning team and how to manage a budget, a group of about 30 from across RNSME and the Nuclear Department were working towards their diplomas. Wessex Business School identified the prior learning that each individual had completed in the RN and used this to reduce the number of modules required to obtain the qualification, which now gives these members access to gain a masters degree.


the WRNS personnel billeted in Dartmouth, too.” Joseph met the Commander of the college, Cdr Andy Hancock, during his visit. “Everyone has made me


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