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Staff ride examines
Final IST
Grafton in
lessons of Falklands
‘SUNBURN’ and the
at capture
‘Falkland Islands’ are not
last Fleet escort in the RN to
necessarily great words to use
embark officer cadets for Initial
in a word association game,
Sea Training (IST).
of Gibraltar
writes Maj Guy Balmer RM. The 23 cadets from Vengeance
However, after a recent staff Division at BRNC were all
ride, these words – along with international officers, and as part
TROPHY 26318 is a silver
many other memories – will forever of their second term they joined
crowned lion’s head on a
be on the minds of those involved. the frigate to get a taste of life at
decorative plinth, presented to
The plan was that a group from sea in an operational warship.
HMS Grafton by Lady Abbott,
the PJHQ in Northwood (from IST has been an integral part
the ship’s sponsor, who launched
where the British element of the of Naval officer training since the
the frigate in November 1994.
1982 conflict was co-ordinated) early 1990s, giving young officers
The silver scrolls on the plinth would go for a week to analyse the the opportunity to acclimatise to
list the Battle Honours held by operational level of the Conflict. life in a warship at sea, working for
Grafton, one being the capture of The cynics that argued that “if six weeks alongside junior ratings
Gibraltar on July 24 1704. you want to study the operational to develop basic maritime skills.
The British fleet – including the level you should live in the The cadets from Vengeance
third-rate 70 gun HMS Grafton – ‘bunker’ for a week” were quickly Division disembarked in the latter
under Admiral Sir George Rooke discounted and planning began part of May in Loch Long on
had planned to attack Cadiz or in earnest. completion of Joint Warrior to
Barcelona but, with insufficient Early liaison with the RM return to BRNC for the next phase
troops available, it was decided to Corps Secretary’s Office on Whale of their training, while Cornwall
attack Gibraltar instead. Island established contact with sailed south for the Mediterranean
On July 21 1,800 English and both Maj Gen Julian Thompson with the rest of SNMG2.
Dutch Marines under the Prince of (Commander 3 Cdo Bde RM in To meet the changes in the
Hesse-Darmstadt were landed; they 1982) and Maj Gen Nick Vaux
● Members of the staff ride party on top of Mount Harriet in the Falklands
composition of the Fleet and
met little opposition and demanded (CO 42 Cdo RM in 1982), whose
Tony Smith was hugely beneficial failure was always present and the John Adams, who was Gen Vaux’s
marking a step forward in the way
the surrender of the fortress. support to the academic build up
in ensuring that we visited the
the Navy trains young officers for
The English ships were then and the ride itself were invaluable.
strategic impact of this on the UK Radio Operator in 1982.
the front line, a new sea training
warped into positions from which
key areas at each location, and
Co-operation and support
would have been immense. In addition Mike Rendell,
package – Initial Fleet Time (IFT)
they could bombard the forts. was given throughout by the
his tour and analysis of the battle After having polished both former Falkland Island’s Naval
has been created.
Two days later both sides opened Commander British Forces South
for Darwin and Goose Green was memorial plaques and had time to Party 8901, was instrumental in
IFT is a ten-week period serving
fire, the inhabitants of Gibraltar Atlantic Islands and his staff.
extremely eye-opening. think, we left Mount Harriet with organising a reception with the
at sea in an operational warship
taking refuge in a chapel. After months of planning and
Needless to say discussions
the impression that, whilst lessons Governor at Government House,
that draws on the strengths of the
The engagement was ended study the group assembled at
centred on both the achievements
can always be learnt, what was where we met Islanders who had
IST and Common Fleet Time
at midday so that the situation Brize Norton for the epic that is a
of 2 Para in very challenging
achieved by the personnel in 1982 been resident during the Conflict.
(CFT) packages it replaces.
could be reviewed; finding that flight to the Falklands.
circumstances and the leadership
would be difficult to be bettered Finally, if anyone is considering
The first Officer Cadets to
the batteries had been disabled, The group, with a strong ‘Royal’
style of Lt Col ‘H’ Jones VC.
given a similar situation today. doing a similar excursion, a word of
undertake this new package are
further troops were landed by boat contingent, comprised a mix of all
A proposal to do a smallie
Socially we were extremely well advice – despite the common view, at BRNC now and will embark
to capture them. the Services, a rank range from
yomp and bivvy out was met with
looked after by the Stanley branch it is possible to get sunburn during in capital ships from September
The Governor of Gibraltar Maj Gen to Flt Sgt, and three 1982
a muted response, however we
of the RMA, particularly chairman a Falkland Islands summer… this year.
surrendered on July 24, but veterans – Maj Gen Vaux, Brig
did manage to get to a relatively
the Rock was then subjected to
Tim Chicken (3 Cdo Bde RM,
unknown former British artillery
continuous attention by the French
HQ & Sigs Sqn) and Flt Sgt John
gun position to the west of Mounts
and Spanish for almost six months
Summers (RFA Fort Grange).
Kent and Challenger, largely
before the siege was raised.
The days were spent analysing
untouched in the 27 years since.
In 1827 King George IV granted
the campaign from the Argentine,
To be able to crawl into dry
the Marines the Globe as their
air, maritime, amphibious and land
bunkers built using peat-filled
badge and gave them the battle
perspectives, with the final day
ammunition liners was certainly a
honour of Gibraltar for their crest
focussed on the Battle for Mount
testament to their construction.
and colours.
Harriet, 42 Cdo’s final objective.
The final day on Mount Harriet #551%+#6+10
London room offer
Whilst discussions were based at
brought home the scale of what
the operational level they invariably
was achieved in 1982.
led into a few tactical weeds
Having undertaken a 8,000-
Once Navy Always Navy
THE Victory Services Club (and even included finding Brig mile maritime transit, with limited
in London is demonstrating Chicken’s first bivvy position). air cover and over three weeks
its support to all regulars and Consequently a great deal of ashore in challenging conditions,
reservists returning on R&R or
tZat tZe AssociaŸov  oesW
East Falkland was visited, with UK forces conducted night-time
post-operational tour leave from
stances taking place in Stanley assaults, getting to within metres
Afghanistan or Iraq by offering
Supports the Royal Navy Maintains Naval tradiŸons
(including Sapper Hill, Yorke of enemy positions before being
up to 50 per cent off the cost of
Bay, Stanley Airfield and Moody detected, and captured nigh-on
single, double and family rooms.
Enjoys social acŸvi Ÿes Re-unites Shipmates
Brook), San Carlos, Darwin and impregnable positions for, on
Call 020 7723 4474, email
Goose Green, Teal Inlet, Mount occasions, relatively low numbers or see website
Remembers the fallen Helps the disabled
Kent and Mount Harriet. of casualties.
The expertise offered by guide The possibility of operational
>ooks aL er the needy Cheers up the distressed
Stands together in Unity
● RM Reservists training in
Norway earlier this year
Crown Copyright 2008
RMR employers visit Norway
Full Members
Consist of Serving and Ex-Serving members of the The Naval Service,
EMPLOYERS of RMR staff got the chance to see reliability, organisation, planning, problem-solving,
WRNS, RFA,RNXS and RMAS, regardless of Rank. Any person who
their colleagues’ ‘other life’ when they visited Norway leadership and team work.
during Exercise Hairspring earlier this year, writes Nine senior employers were selected from the
served in the Naval Forces of a naŸon which is or was a member of the
Lt Col Gavin Richards RMR, Unit Employer Support private and public sector for the visit, including
Officer, RMR London. representatives from local authorities, the BBC, the
riŸsh Commonwealth.
The visit was part of the Employers Abroad Prison Service, Lloyd’s of London and Royal Mail.
Associate Members
programme, through which employers get the After a night in a Harstad hotel, the SaBRE group
opportunity to meet reservists carrying out training. were briefed then moved into the field where they Those in sympathy with our Objects, especially families.
It was arranged by RMR Tyne and SaBRE slept in tents, some managing to spend time with
(Supporting Britain’s Reservists and Employers) – their ‘own’ reservist.
an MOD campaign designed to build support for Next day brought skills demos and a meeting with
Contact Nigel Huxtable at RNA HQ
reservists from their employers. Prince Michael of Kent, Rear Admiral Maritime
Rm 209 Semaphore Tower, PP70, HM Naval Base, PORTSMOUTH PO1 3LT
The visitors gained a detailed understanding of the Reserves; to round things off employers were given
training that RMR and 131 Cdo RE men undergo certificates and photos of their Arctic adventure.
Phone - 023 9272 3747 E-Mail -
to prepare them for operations – training which can Thanks to Lt Col Phil Sampson, WO2s ‘Screwy’
bring valuable spin-off benefits, including initiative, Driver and Garrow, and RMR Tyne for the visit.
tebsite - www.royal-naval-associaŸ
hnity, >oyalty, WatrioŸsm and Comradeship
034-035_NN_jul.indd 2 18/6/09 18:47:41
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