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Escorts make the most of proximity

Operation Enduring Freedom - the war on terror - are mak- ing the most of the proximity of different warships to broad- en the understanding of the ship's companies. Type 42 destroyer HMS York,

ESCORT ships of the UK maritime

task group in

now a third of the way through her six-month deployment as HMS Ocean's shadow, has had few opportunities to come alongside in the region. But in between exercises with

• HMS Campbeltown takes fuel from RFA Dliligence "rafted up" together in the Indian Ocean. So far this evolution has been success- fully completed on three occasions, with the transfer of fuel, stores, mail and personnel between ships.


Royals check

ROYAL Marines of A Company 40 Commando have been involved in operations in the mountains of Afghanistan south of Khowst.

ried out a reconnaissance mission in cave complexes thought to have been used by Al Qaeda and Taliban forces. The joint UK and American operation searched the area and found no enemy forces, but it did recover weapons and documents which may provide intelligence information. The operation, which has now

The detachment of Royals car-


ended, also involved members of 1 Parachute Regiment. Further operations of this nature are said to be likely.

the rest of the Task Group in the Gulf of Aden and the Gulf of Oman, when personal and team skills were honed through a scries of training serials, the ship has managed to gel several of her sailors across to HMS Ocean on 24-hour exchanges. The Commanding Officer of

the destroyer, Cdr Richard Powell, hopes to continue and extend the programme to involve ships of other Coalition nations, including the big American carriers such as the USS John F. Kennedy and the USS John C. Stennis. The primary role of the ship,

round-the-clock air, surface and sub-surface protection for the entire group.

Campbcltown, 22

Campbeltown in turn replaced another Type 22 frigate, HMS Cornwall.

HMS Southampton of the escort

York relieved sister-ship chore,


ship's companies on the escorts benefit from daily sports activities and social events. In York, for example, circuit

As a break from the hard work,

training and step aerobics allow sailors to stay in top condition, and inter-mess competitions have been held on the flight deck. The good weather has also

allowed a couple of barbecues to be staged, usually followed by an open-air film on the flight deck. Campbcltown, under the com-

Ticonderoga-class Aegis cruiser. The nature of the Coalition operation is also demonstrated by the fact that the frigate has been replenishing at sea with the USS Bridge, refuelling from the 50,0(X)- ton Supply-class support ship.

exchanged sailors with the USS Hue


ships, a

and has 10,000-ton Gunners train

GUNNERS from 29 Commando Regt Royal Artillery have been training hard in preparation for their role in the war on terrorism.

Around 180 gunners will pro- vide artillery support

Commando RM, using 105mm light guns which fire a high-explo- sive shell over ten miles. The guns, which can be slung

to 45

beneath a Chinook for transport, can be fired at a rate of six rounds per minute.

mand of Capt Mark Sloan, has been working closely with American

and others with the group such as Type

frigate HMS is to provide

'General' leads by example

hard to integrate in preparation for the task in hand, Commodore Jamie Miller is leading by example with the personal touch. Cdrc Miller earned the affec-

THE GENERAL is maintain- ing a high profile at the head of the British amphibious task group in the Arabian Sea. And as the various groups work

tionate nickname The General while he was Executive Officer in HMS Ark Royal, supporting oper- ations in Bosnia. The reasons were his high stan-

every effort to keep his men and women at peak efficiency as his original job - Commander of the Amphibious Task Group for Exercise Saif Sareca last year - fades into history as the war on ter- rorism occupies everyone's atten- tion.

with HMS Fearless as his com- mand platform, but has now trans- ferred to helicopter carrier HMS Ocean, the UK flagship in the region at the head of a flotilla of ten ships and more than 2,000 peo- ple.

Cdrc Miller originally sailed

The main focus for Cdre Miller has been "to deliver 45

dards of style and discipline, his Army family background - and his collection of lead soldiers. Now Cdre Miller is making

• Commodore Jamie Miller

Commando Royal Marines safely into the operational theatre, Afghanistan." To achieve that, he has been

able to call on 12 helicopters and nearly 180 personnel from 845 and 847 Naval Air Squadrons (Sea Kings, Lynx and Gazelles) and the Chinooks of 27 Squadron RAF.

very pleased to see how the ship's company, Royal Marines and air group had all made very close bonds as the troops were flown into Bagram in support of Operation Jacana.

Cdre Miller said he was

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been an impressive example of logistics - ships completed 34 replenishments at sea in five weeks, the air group tlcw more than 500 hours to move more than 700 tonnes of ammunition, 900 tonnes of non-explosive stores, 186 vehicles and a battery of 105mm guns. Cdre Miller is known to like

To achieve the task, there has

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meeting his people and chatting to them, and his personal touch was demonstrated when he visited one of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships and spoke to a Naval Airman whose only complaint was that he had had no mail from home. On returning to Ocean that

> HMS Ocean in the Arabian Sea.

was "the amount of activity on board, covering maritime, flying and military operations."

evening, Cdre Miller wrote a letter to the individual and ensured it was hand-delivered by the Captain of the RFA - prompting a reply from the happy recipient. Cdre Miller's abiding memory

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• An RAF door gunner/air- crewman checks the rear of his aircraft as the Chinook of 27 Squadron RAF lands at Bagram airfield following a training exercise with Royal Marines of 45 Commando

Picture: PO(PHOT) Steve Lewis Scott pays a visit to Dubai

OCEAN survey vessel HMS Scott is a familiar sight in the Indian Ocean, now strewn with ships of the Coalition navies.

Scott - which is not part of Operation Enduring Freedom - put into Dubai for an informal four-day visit, allowing the

local Consul General, Simon Collis, to present a General Service Medal (Air Ops over Iraq) to MEM Rory Snell.

vessel - it has a ship's compa- ny of only 44 - managed to field a rugby XV against the Dubai

The 13,500-ton lean-manned

Hurricanes club, but the ship's team was beaten by the experi- enced ex-pats side.

Scott was due back in Devonport as Navy News went to press, and she will then sail to Portsmouth for her first major upkeep period.


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