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Pupils tour

SOME 60 children frigate from a

Hampshire school were given an end-of-term treat when they were hosted on board a warship. The pupils, along with ten members of staff from Year One at Crofton Hammond Infant school in Stubbington, were given a guided tour of HMS Argyll during a weekend break in the frigate’s training programme. Cdr Tim Neild said: “It has been a real pleasure to host the children from Crofton Hammond Infant School onboard, particularly as they are our future. “It was good to see the smiles on

so many faces as they toured the ship, and hopefully the visit to the ship and of our helicopter has given them some lasting memories.” Headteacher Jacky Halton said:

“It was quite a challenge for the ship’s company and my staff to take 60 young children aboard a warship – but it was more than worth it. “The children were thrilled to visit a warship and are lucky to have had this opportunity at such a young age.” The young visitors, wrapped in their winter woollies, were given a tour of the top deck weapon systems

and displayed their

climbing prowess when navigating between decks from the bridge to the operations room.

The visit came after an arduous

eight-week period of sea training for Argyll, followed by a successful firing of its Seawolf missile system. On leaving Portsmouth, Argyll

supported new pilot training for 702 NAS by practising landing on the flight deck, as well as hosting fledgling frigate captains for their final training.

First Sea Lord visits RN staff east of Suez


one and Newly-qualified crew members

of HMS Trenchant proudly hold up the symbol of a submariner in the presence of Britain’s highest- ranking


First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope (right).

The head of the Navy visited the majority of the Royal Navy’s forces

deployed east of Suez

when he called on the hub of its operations in the region, the UK Maritime Component Command in Bahrain.

From there the actions of nine

warships, RFAs, plus Fleet Air Arm Lynx and Merlin are directed – a mission involving more than 1,300 men and women of the Naval Service. The First Sea Lord engaged in a whirlwind round of visits to meet as many people as possible – he called on frigate HMS Monmouth, which has recently arrived in the region as the RN’s constant ‘Gulf guardian’, three of the four-strong minehunting force


(HM Ships Shoreham, Quorn, and Atherstone) plus their mother ship RFA Cardigan Bay. And on hunter-killer submarine

Trenchant, as we mentioned. There he joined nine men who

have been awarded their coveted dolphins – a sign that they know the Trafalgar-class boat inside and out – during the Devonport-based submarine’s nine-month tour of duty.

“It was a tremendous pleasure to host the First Sea Lord during his visit to HMS Monmouth,” said the Black Duke’s Commanding Officer Cdr Gordon Ruddock. “That Admiral Stanhope was able to communicate his thanks on behalf of the Service to our ship’s company for their diligence and commitment away from friends and family at Christmas was appreciated by all.” The headquarters and support staff of the UKMCC were not missed out, nor the two dozen RN and RM personnel directing Combined Task Force 150 (half a dozen ships sweeping the Indian

FOST at Collingwood

FLAG Officer Sea Training Rear Admiral Clive Johnstone paid a special visit to HMS Collingwood as VIP for the RN Leadership School passing-out parade and Victory Squadron graduation. As well as carrying out his formal duties, FOST – escorted throughout by Cdre Mike Mansergh, Commodore of HMS Collingwood – also visited the Communications Department in Lyster Building to take a look at the Queen Elizabeth-class facility and the Close Range Training Simulator.

      

Ocean for criminal activity) plus the engineers and experts of the Fleet Support Unit Bahrain and the minehunters’ logistics support team – all vital to keeping the Fleet running round-the-clock. “I was delighted to be able to visit the sailors and marines

forward deployed in the Middle East region over this festive season so that I could personally thank them for

their commitment,

professionalism, humour and

courage,” Admiral Stanhope said. “I am immensely proud of all our people and their families.”

Raleigh reunions at passing-out parade

BROTHERS-in-arms and

married couple were among those reunited during HMS Raleigh’s final passing-out parade of

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26 FEBRUARY 2013 :

● Staff and cadets gather to bid farewell to First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope after his visit to Britannia Royal Naval College

Leading by example

THE Royal Navy’s top admiral has been sharing his thoughts on leadership with the next generation of leaders.

Meeting a group of officer cadets undergoing their initial naval training at Britannia Royal Naval College, First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope led a discussion on the principles of leadership and talked about his own experience gained during his 43-year career. During his day at Dartmouth Admiral Stanhope took the opportunity to see aspects of the newly- enhanced initial naval training course for officers, introduced last year. He also saw cadets undergoing a leadership exercise in the Dart maritime training area – part

of a demanding four-day exercise which was the culmination of the second stage of initial naval training, known as the ‘marinisation phase’. In crews of seven, the officer cadets use motor

whalers and picket boats in a tactical scenario, based on a humanitarian operation, bringing together the skills they have learnt throughout their course, including leadership, navigation and seamanship. Admiral Stanhope also met a class of trainee

warfare officers in Dartmouth’s state-of-the-art ship’s bridge simulator, which can be configured to test students’ in a wide range of scenarios. The admiral was naturally familiar with the

surroundings – he undertook his own initial naval training at BRNC in 1970.

year. Trainee AET Luke Clarke was pleased to see his brother Jamie – also an AET – after a four-month separation. Jamie had spent the past three months on operations

Afghanistan, maintaining the Sea Kings of 857 Naval Air Squadron. Luke, having just finished his initial ten-week training,

invited his grandparents Paul and also in the a

Jean Chappell, who both served in the Navy. Trainee warfare specialist David Edmonds was delighted to have his Naval Dental Nurse wife Rachael at the parade – Rachael joined the Royal Navy last year after a career in the RAF, and David – then an RAF corporal – attended her passing-out parade in July. David spent 11 years in the

RAF but was seeking a new challenge.

He will now specialise in hydrography and meteorology.

Phot is in the pictures

A ROYAL Navy photographer has been in the pictures rather than taking them. And we are not just talking

about any old film – CPO (Phot) Nathan Dua was an extra in the film Les Misérables. CPO Dua (above) played the

part of ‘Convict 363’, who is one of hundreds seen pulling on ropes to bring a galleon into a dock at the start of the film. Filmed at Portsmouth Naval Base last spring, Nathan answered a request by Universal Pictures for thin, gaunt-looking men. Spending two days on set at the end of March, Nathan dressed up like a 19th Century French convict and stood in waist-deep water as rain, wind and wave machines simulated a fierce storm. “Having spent 26 years in

the Royal Navy, I thought I had experienced some pretty wild storms, but

the storm effects

generated on set of Les Mis was by far the wildest,” said Nathan. “It was absolutely relentless – by the end of the day we were totally soaked. “Even though I knew it’s a musical I didn’t realise that we’d all be singing at the start, so we had to practise that the day before so we got it right for the scenes the next day.” Nathan, who works as the

Eastern Photographic Manager at HMS Excellent, Portsmouth was one of several Royal Navy personnel who took part in the film, with scenes

shot both at

Portsmouth and at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich.

HMS Dragon

Fierce and fiery just like her namesake, HMS Dragon, one of the Navy’s newest Type 45 d ste royers, bristles with weaponry and radar, offering an unparalleled level of air defence for the nation’s ships whatever their tasking wherever in the world.

Picture: LA(Phot) Nicky Wilson

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