NAVY NEWS, SEPTEMBER 2011
People in brief
ALL three watches of survey ship HMS Echo gathered to witness the presentation of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors’ Endeavour Award to LET(ME) William Beale. Described by his CO as “always
affable and conscientious”, LET Beale not only ensures critical kit such as sewage treatment and reverse osmosis plants keeps working, but is also Deputy Leading Hand of the Mess.
A NAVAL student on the Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme has won an award for outstanding academic achievement. Mid Alec Kingsnorth won the
Frederic Barnes MechE prize for his final-year project at Aston University. He is due to start training at BRNC this month.
LT GEN Sir Alistair Irwin has taken over as Vice Chairman of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) from Admiral Sir Ian Garnett, who had held the post since 2008. And while one former Navy
man leaves, another joins – Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence as been appointed Commissioner of the CWGC, representing the Senior Service.
THE beautiful Slapton Wood in Devon received some care and attention from officer cadets of Diamond Division at Britannia Royal Naval College. Working under the direction
In-tent’s colours add to place of worship
A CHURCH for Service personnel in Afghanistan has been fitted with colourful new windows, thanks to children from
Plymouth. The Task Force Helmand HQ in Lashkar Gah
was recently provided with a new place to worship but the padre for 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines felt the beige and white tent needed a splash of colour. The tent, home to St Martin’s Church, is fitted
with removable plastic windows. So Revd Ian Wheatley got in touch with his pastoral worker back in the UK, who contacted the head teachers of two primary schools to ask for help. “Almost every church has stained glass windows
marines and soldiers here, we thought we’d ask children back home to design and make them.” Pupils from Widewell and Goosewell Primary
and although ours aren’t glass, I didn’t see any reason why our church couldn’t have the same colourful windows,” said Revd Wheatley. “Rather than rely on the artistic talents of the
Schools worked on the brightly decorated PVC panels for weeks, and the new ‘windows’ have now arrived back at the base in Lashkar Gah. The commando-trained cleric (pictured right
with one of the new windows) said he was really impressed, and the congregation really appreciated them.
of Slapton Ley Field Centre Manager Nick Binnie, the 20-strong team helped improve pathways in the ancient woodland, cutting back overgrown plants and moving earth and rubble, as part of a college outreach project.
A FLEDGLING Naval pilot has not only graduated as a Fleet Air Arm helicopter pilot, but bagged a prize into the bargain. Lt Rob Dixon was one of
five students on 702 Naval Air Squadron to qualify to fly the Lynx – but the only one to emerge with the AgustaWestland Trophy for the best performance during training.
A LYNX helicopter flight training in the North of England took time out from their schedule to visit three schools in the area. Flying out of RAF Leeming,
of John Piper, a prolific stained glass artist who designed the post-war windows in St Andrews Church in Plymouth.,” he added.
Picture: Sgt Alison Baskerville RLC Summer camp – dogs supplied Job swap
TWO dozen St Dunstaners left their families and guide dogs behind for a week for their annual summer camp in the Portsmouth area.
– all of whom have impaired vision, including complete blindness, and are connected to the St Dunstan’s charity – are each given a human ‘guide dog’ on arrival and then spend a week enjoying a range of sports and social activities. Organising secretary Dave
Burrows said the camp provided respite for the carers back home, and allowed the visitors to come out of their shells.
203 Flight of 815 Naval Air Squadron – which will deploy to the Atlantic later this year with HMS Montrose – called in at St Thomas More School in Blaydon, west of Gateshead, Longfield School in Darlington and St Mary’s Primary School in Malton, North Yorkshire.
AND while we are on the subject of flying visits, a Sea King from 848 Naval Air Squadron took advantage of a training sortie to drop in at Sherborne Primary School in Dorset. Maj Mark Johnson RM,
undergoing refresher training with the squadron, captained the aircraft to the school, where it was greeted by around 300 pupils and staff. The children (and adults) had
a chance to talk to the aircrew about their jobs – and to have a good look at the aircraft on the temporary ‘airfield’.
829 go back for playtime
MEMBERS of 829 Naval Air Squadron returned to Mullion County Primary School to see the children at play in the garden they helped to create during a squadron community project. After reverting to childhood
by playing in the sandpit and checking out the wildlife area, squadron personnel enjoyed hotdogs, cakes and fizzy lemonade with the children. The team of volunteers had
created a wildlife area, laid new paths, painted a fence and built an ambitious sandpit/wet play area. The school presented the visitors
with a framed picture drawn by the children, and squadron CO Cdr Martin Bravery reciprocated by giving a photo of squadron in front of Merlin helicopters.
Deadline looms for Millies
THE deadline is fast approaching for this year’s Sun Military Awards – your chance to highlight an individual or unit deserving recognition. The Armed Forces and general
public will have until close of play on Monday September 12 to put forward nominations for the ‘Millies’, now in their fourth year. Nominations will be accepted for the period covering September 1 2010 to August 31 2011, and can be made via The Sun website at www.thesun.co.uk/millies
Nominations should include as
much information as possible – though bear in mind operational
security considerations; if in doubt any concerns can be referred up the chain of command. The categories for the 2011
Millies are: Overcoming Adversity; Best Sailor or Marine; Outstanding Soldier; Outstanding Airman; Best Reservist; Support to the Armed Forces; Lifesaver Award; True Grit; Best Unit; There is also a judges’ special
award, not down to a public vote, for outstanding service not recognised elsewhere.
Based at HMS Sultan, the party
initiative with strong links to the command’s field gunners, there is an irreverent streak throughout the week – Sultan’s sponsoring officer WO1 Dave Pottle noted how one ‘dog’ called “Duck!”, and as several visitors did so he continued “... my mistake – it’s a seagull.” When the manager of a pitch
Originally a Fleet Air Arm
and putt course pondered aloud whether there had been any cheating, a voice from the back said: “Not that I saw...”
all three Services, the camp is a highlight of their year, giving them the chance to go fishing, gliding, sailing, try their hand at archery and the like. Former sailor Brian Durber, a member of Stourbridge RNA who has macular degeneration, said: “This is my sixth camp and it’s fantastic – brilliant. They treat us like royalty. “We really look forward to this
AS preparations gather pace for HMS Monmouth’s forthcoming deployment, two key members of the frigate’s Warfare team have been recognised for their achievements. Operations Officer Lt Cdr Fiona Jamieson, on exchange from the RNZN, was awarded the 2010 Captain Farmer Memorial Prize for her performance
For many visitors, representing “Most of the ideas were inspired by the work
Rookies of all ages
ONE of these sailors may be nearly twice the age of the other, but they are both rookies on a veteran warship. AB Brett Billson (right)
decided to join the Senior Service at the age of 36 last October – six months after 20-year-old AB Nicholas ‘Ronnie’ Barker (left). Both are now on their first sea-
previous job working for an opticians in Abingdon, Brett joined up in a bid to challenge himself both physically and mentally, with a solid career path to follow. Now a storesman in the
going deployment aboard HMS Edinburgh in the South Atlantic. Although he enjoyed his
‘Fortress of the Sea’, which left the UK in May for a seven- month trip to the Falklands and the Americas, Brett’s decision to sign on nearly came too late – individuals have to be under 37 years old to join the Navy. He said: “I’m an old dog
THE Defence Helicopter Flying School has a new Commandant – and he goes to work in a dark blue suit. Gp Capt Jock Brown has
left RAF Shawbury to take up a post as Commander of Task Force Jaguar, overseeing UK and US military helicopter flights in Afghanistan... ... which is the role Capt Paul
Shawcross left to take up his new job at Shawbury, no doubt passing on some useful information to his predecessor along the way.
Double for Montrose team
as the most improved student on the Principal Warfare Officers course. PO(AWW) Henderson received the 2010 Commander Llewelyn Prize as the highest-scoring student on the PO(AWW) qualifying course. The prizes were presented in the CO’s cabin by Cdre Tim Lowe, Commodore Maritime Warfare School.
learning new tricks. I wanted a career not just a job and the Royal Navy has given me a sense of achievement I hadn’t had before.” ‘Ronnie’, a steward and first-
aider, said: “I would recommend anyone to join the Royal Navy as it is a great career with many opportunities. “It is also a great way to see the
world in a different way and visit places you wouldn’t usually get the opportunity to go to.”
BROTHERS Andrew and Stuart Rowlands from Stafford had an unexpected rendezvous in the Mediterranean when their ships shared an anchorage. Lt Andrew is Navigating Officer
of minehunter HMS Ramsey, and L/Cpl Stuart is with Delta Coy 40 Cdo on board RFA Cardigan Bay. The brothers had not been together since March and were not expecting to see each other again until Andrew returns home in December.
Students tidy up the place…
… AND that’s a phrase you would not expect to hear too often. But we are talking about a group
of Royal Navy-leaning students of the Northumbria University RN Unit, based at HMS Calliope in Gateshead. And the clean-up was along
a stretch of the River Tyne at Blaydon. The event was organised by the
Clean Tyne Project, a partnership between the Port of Tyne and the river’s bordering council authorities of Gateshead, South Tyneside, North Tyneside and Newcastle. Clean Tyne aims to improve
the river and its banks and raise public awareness of environmental issues. “The students are usually
more at home sailing on the Tyne rather than cleaning it,” said their Commanding Officer, Lt Nelson McMillan. “The teamwork shown today is
exactly the spirit we are looking for in today’s modern Armed Services, and being able to do something worthwhile for the local community and environment is a considerable bonus.” The students meet at Calliope,
the principal training centre for the North East and home base for some 200 reservists, where they
Lt Nelson McMillan (centre) and his Northumbria URNU team with the rubbish plucked from the Tyne
learn essential skills that will help them in a future career with the Royal Navy. They operate a fast patrol craft,
HMS Example, and regularly deploy along the North Sea coast and across to Europe. The ship has just returned from a voyage around the coast
of Scotland. Transport to the clean-up site
was by way of the project’s debris disposal vessel, Clearwater, which allowed the students to see parts of the Tyne usually inaccessible to Example and her crew. And the result was a full skip of plastic, industrial debris and
driftwood being removed from the riverbank for recycling. “The team has really enjoyed cleaning our local river,” said Lt McMillan. “We plan to make this an
annual event for the unit as we believe we should look after the river on which we operate.”
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