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4 NAVY NEWS, JULY 2009
A privilege to
command
THIS is now Britain’s second
most senior sailor in a month of
‘all change’ at the top of the Royal
Navy.
Admiral Sir Trevor Soar
has assumed the duties of
Commander-in-Chief Fleet,
taking over from Admiral Sir
Mark Stanhope who in turn
replaces outgoing First Sea Lord
Admiral Sir Jonathon Band on
July 21.
Admiral Soar has divided
his career above and below the
waves.
He has commanded at
every rank from lieutenant to
commodore, from submarines
Ocelot and Talent to frigate
HMS Chatham and carrier HMS
Invincible.
NOW here’s a rare – and stunning –
The fliers and ground crew, plus C Company
As Commander-in-Chief Fleet,
he oversees the daily movements
sight.
40 Commando – you need some Royals to play
2
with to get the most of manoeuvres such as rapid
3
of the entire surface and
This is a Lynx of 847 Naval Air Squadron
submarine fleets, plus the Royal
and the magnificent backdrop is the capital tal
roping and air gunning – left Ocean behind ro
Marines, and NATO duties with
of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, partly obscured ed
and decamped to the Malaan ysian jungle.
There a comprehensive training package
1
4
the Standing Response Force and
by the Far East haze.
was laid on by those nice folks in the
Joint Force Command.
After exertions in the steppe of
Malaysian Army.
“After a career spanning 34
Afghanistan, half the Yeovilton-based
The locals offered advice and expertise
years, this is an extremely proud
squadron – three Mk7 battlefield Lynx
in day and night flying over the jungle,
moment for me,” said Admiral
and 54 personnel – flew east to join the
survival training, and operating in
Soar. “It is a great privilege. The Taurus task group.
confined environment.
Royal Navy continues to exert The Lynx joined HMS Ocean in
With all these complicated evolutions
its power and influence in a fast- Cochin, spent a week regaining their sea
and exa ercises under way, one Lynx was on
changing environment – and has legs with day and night landings (for some
standby throughout the training to provide
a well-deserved reputation as of the fliers it was their first taste of operating
casualty evacuation cover round-the-clock.
For those of you whose knowledge of the Kuala Lumpur skyline is a little
world-class.” over the ocean), then prepared for the crux of
And that Lynx was scrambled when one Royal
hazy, here’s a little help:
their Far East mission. was bitten on the head. Unfortunately for the 1. Menara Telekom – 1,017ft headquarters of Malaysia’s
Re-fi t for
847 was dispatched to the Taurus amphibious snake, it also required evacuating having come off telecommunications firm
task group to take part in jungle warfare training – second best in its encounter with the marine… 2. Menara Kuala Lumpur – 1,381ft communications tower
which reached its climax with Commando Rajah 847 subsequently rejoined Ocean for Exercise 3. Petronas Twin Towers – 1,482ft office and leisure complex
purpose
in Brunei (see pages 23-25). Bersama Shield (see page 22). 4. Menara Maybank – 799ft headquarters of Malaysia’s largest bank.
AFTER devouring in excess of
£100,000 every day for 36 weeks
– £26m in all – HMS Albion is
In the land of Vikings and camels
Mersey dash
back at sea.
saves yacht
The assault ship has been
BUT obviously not at the
canyon walking and abseiling,
out of action since last autumn then a night-time barbecue with
WHAT can you create using
undergoing the first refit in her
same time, that would be
belly dancers laid on. The deeps
some knives, boathooks, cable
career in Devonport Naval Base.
surreal...
couldn’t resist joining in.
ties and insulating tape?
What does £26m buy you?
No we begin in the land of
“The belly dancing was great
Not a question posed by
Twelve miles of new cabling, one
Viking warriors and Norse gods.
but I found it hard to co-ordinate
Scrapheap Challenge, but a
mile of welding, 25,000 litres
Deeps from the USA, Germany,
all the muscles in my stomach at
conundrum facing a rescue
of paint, overhauled propellers,
Russian and the UK joined their
once,” said CPO Gary Linden.
party from fishery patrol ship
shafts and rudders, and new-look
Norwegian counterparts in Bergen
With muscles perhaps still
HMS Mersey called on to save
mess decks and accommodation
for 100th birthday celebrations of
aching the submariners climbed
a yacht off the Devon coast.
– among other upgrades.
the Scandinavian’s nation’s silent
on to quad bikes, 4x4s and camels
Mersey was on duty in the
It took 450,000 man hours to
service. south-western Channel when
All the aforementioned
to ride the dunes of the UAE
do all this – and it was all done
she picked up a call for help
nations have already marked the
desert.
bang on time.
from the Coastguard, asking
centennials of their submarine
If all that sounds (a) too hot
“Everyone who has been
her to sail to the yacht’s aid.
arms – America in 2000, Britain
(b) too much like hard work, then
involved with HMS Albion
The vessel was sailing
the following year, the Russians in
there were always the bright lights
can be proud of their collective
from Plymouth to Salcombe
2004 and Germany in 2006.
of Dubai.
achievement,” said Lt Shane
– and had almost reached
The Norwegians arrived on the
A Combined Services
Doran, project contract manager.
its destination when it struck
underwater warfare scene slightly
Entertainment show was laid
“Bringing the plethora of
a fishing float, its propeller
later – but weren’t going to let the
on for Talent in the Middle East
technical challenges together and
became tangled with the
opportunity for a party pass.
metropolis – comedians Colin
sailing on time after 36 weeks in
mooring rope and the yacht
upkeep is a credit to the whole
Accepting the invite on behalf
Cole and Rudi Lickwood, the
swung around helplessly with
team.”
of the UK was Trafalgar-class
CSE dancers and band Lucas all
its stern into the waves and the
The ship is now undergoing
hunter killer HMS Turbulent.
flew out to the UAE, and their
weather worsening.
sea trials and will spend the
Now she would have been the
efforts were much appreciated by
Although conditions were
● No matter how hard they tried, the Talent boys couldn’t match the
summer working up ahead of
biggest guest at Haakonsvern naval
camels’ humps
the deeps.
marginal, Mersey launched
OST in the autumn.
base, half a dozen miles outside
“It’s great that they went to all
her sea boat – driver AB Ant
She’ll resume her duties as
Bergen (the other attendees were
counterparts (and, perhaps, perhaps, a bit of 4x4 off-roading
that effort to put on a show for
Crabtree plus rescue team of
the nation’s amphibious flagship
diesel boats) but the Americans
shared the odd ‘dit’ of life beneath over sand dunes maybe.
us,” said LET Dave Willis. “It
POET(ME) Jase Carvil and LS
next year, taking over from her
played their trump card, their
the waves). Belly dancing probably doesn’t
was an amazing show that had me
‘Mac’ McRoberts – who found
younger sister Bulwark.
newest boat.
Turbs also took to the football figure. But camping out under the
bopping hard to the music.”
the husband and wife crew
Meanwhile, right about now
At 8,000 tons, attack submarine
pitch, wiping out the Russians from stars in the Gulf desert does.
We rather suspect that there
violently seasick and in no state
another Devonport-based warship
USS New Hampshire is similar
the Kilo-class boat Magnitogorsk Twenty-seven submariners
was somewhat less ‘bopping’, if
to sail the stricken yacht.
is reaching a refit milestone.
in size to the UK’s newest boat,
7-0 (thanks to a brace apiece from headed into the Dibba Mountains
any, aboard Talent herself when
With Mersey too large to
HMS Campbeltown was due
HMS Astute – and 100ft longer
ETs Lough and Twitty). outside Fujairah for an adventure
the submarine paid host to
tow the yacht into Salcombe,
to be refloated and emerge from
than Turbulent.
“The celebrations were a great training package while HMS Talent
His Highness Sheikh Salah bin
the solution was to call on the
dry dock at the beginning of July.
The Norwegians spent five
success – it was a great honour underwent a spell of maintenance
Mohammed Al Sharqi, the brother
town’s lifeboat.
The Type 22 frigate has been
days celebrating their submarine
to welcome the Norwegian in the Emirate following her
of the ruler of Fujairah and head
But there was the small
in Rosyth since last September
centennial, using the spectacular
Submarine Service to the ‘100 exertions in the Indian Ocean.
of Commerce, Industry, Banking
matter of freeing the yacht first.
and still has another four months
harbour as a backdrop for
Club’,” said Turbulent’s CO Cdr The hunter-killer had been
and Ports.
Which is where the knives,
to go before she returns to sea.
commemorative services, a parade,
Ryan Ramsey. supporting the Taurus task group
Following a presentation and
boathooks, cable ties and
The ship’s company has been
a concert and a centenary dinner.
“American, German, Russian, on exercises before breaking away
tour of Talent he was treated to insulating tape come in.
whittled down from its usual 250-
The latter was attended by
British and Norwegian sailors all from the amphibious force as it
a demonstration of a simulated Jase and Mac used
plus to a mere 35 in the depths of
1,000 guests – submariners past
proved that – regardless of the made for Malaysia, Singapore and
attack on a task group in the considerable ingenuity to
refit, but numbers are beginning
and present, visiting and local
uniform they wear – there is a Brunei. control room. create a makeshift device
to swell once more now with the
dignitaries in an impressive hall
special bond between those in the While half the men of Talent With maintenance, AT, official which cut the mooring rope
end in sight.
adorned with memorabilia, regalia
Silent Service.” were at work overhauling the visits and concerts concluded, from the propeller, despite
The sailors move back aboard
and displays.
Right, now to the desert. boat, aided by the team from RFA Talent has now returned to sea, pretty rough conditions.
towards the end of next month
Many of Turbulent’s crew took
Picture adventurous training. Diligence, the other half decided continuing her mission in the With that the RNLI boat could
and will bring their ship back to
part in the traditional swapping
Canoeing. Abseiling. to see what the UAE had to offer. Middle East before she returns to cast tow lines across and take
Devonport in time for Christmas.
of dolphins with their foreign
Mountaineering. Quad-biking For some that meant AT: the UK later this year. the yacht into Salcombe.
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