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The great ’wall and China
JULY was a record-breaking month in
the same objective in the end,” said Commanding Liberation Army Navy forces conducting group Indeed, she bore more than her fair share of
Officer Cdr Johnny Ley. transits in adjacent waters is formidable,” said burdens these past 12 months – as evidenced
You’re probably thinking rainfall. Maybe cream
His ship is half-way through an eight-month Cdre Steve Chick, in charge of the NATO task by the Company of Leathersellers’ Trophy for
teas sold. Perhaps even pasties devoured.
counter-piracy deployment, directing the NATO force. Outstanding Leadership sitting proudly in her
Nope. Miles sailed. 7,008 nautical miles to be
effort at sea as flagship of Standing Maritime “It provides a marked improvement in our ability mess.
precise (just short of 8,000 statute miles – or
Group 2. to deter pirate activity, while reasuring merchant The award is presented annually to the Fighting
roughly the equivalent of the sailing distance from
It’s a force which has traditionally patrolled the traffic.” 99er who has displayed qualities of leadership
Devonport to Bahrain).
Med – but with growing concern about the Cornwall’s CO Cdr Ley added: “Although far beyond that expected of their rate and
The Fighting 99 clocked up 226 miles a day
pirate scourge off the Horn of Africa, NATO TO the th PLA(N) and the Royal Navy have experience.
in July as she co-ordinated one strand of the
is increasingly dispatching its task groups ps difd ferent methods, we are united in the same To that end LS Metcalfe, says her CO, “played
international naval effort to strangle piracy off
east of Suez. objective: to prob event piracy and protect a pivotal role” in the ship’s comms centre,
NATO is not the only international ll merm chant shipping.”
spurring shipmates on and reacting quickly – and
Fifty-six miles were added to the odometer by
organisation out here – the European Co-operation doesn’t merely extend
decisively – when the rest of the ship needed vital
one specific chase – and one which encapsulates
Union (Operation Atalanta) and Allied to foreign navies and merchant carriers;
that international effort.
Coalition (CTF 151) are also here – nor Cornwall and her NATO staff have
“You don’t expect this kind of recognition – you
On July 24, a German maritime patrol aircraft
is SNMG2 the sole task force. been fostering relations with Somalia’s
just do your job to the best of your abilities but it
operating under the European Union banner
The Indians have a group, so too the principal port.
is an honour to be recognised,” says the leading
spotted a suspicious vessel crammed with
Japanese. Boosaaso (also known as Bosaso) on
weapons and boarding equipment.
And the Chinese have also dispatched the north coast is the destination for many t
“My time aboard Cornwall has been hugely
The Turkish warship Gediz, flying the NATO
a group, Task Force 529, led by the frigate t ships in the UN’hi s World Food Programme
challenging but also incredibly rewarding and
flag, closed in to investigate – as did the Indian
Zhoushan, following attacks on their shipping – which deliver vital sustenance to the people of
that’s largely due the great team of people I work
frigate Godavari which sent its helicopter up.
especially fishing vessels – in the region. this troubled nation.
The Indians came under small arms fire as
Beijing’s method of tackling the pirates – Cornwall parked herself off Boosaaso, then
In between trophy presentations and chasing
they circled the skiff. A second Turkish warship –
providing escorts for up to ten ships in a convoy invited the port authorities and coastguard aboard,
pirates, there have been more routine aspects of
Gaziantep – now entered the fray, sending in her
through the Gulf of Aden – differs considerably plus police and fishermen’s representatives.
naval life: fire drills, damage control exercises, a
helicopter, before a high-speed chase ensued,
from the NATO/EU/Allied method (there’s no “NATO and other warships will provide regular
4.5in main gun shoot, clubz LPT ‘Shiner’ Wright
ending with the pirate boat finally being boarded
specific convoy duties; shipping is directed information about pirate activities at sea – beyond
deals out pleasure and pain in (almost) equal
(after most of the kit and weapons had been through a protected corridor peppered with
the range of the coast guard,” said Cdr Ley.
measure on the flight deck, and frequent RASing
tossed over the side). friendly warships). “In return the coast guard can provide us with
with Spanish, American and British tankers
Meanwhile, aboard the NATO flagship HMS Rear Admiral Wang Zhiguo, the Chinese task the details of suspicious activity that happens
(resulting in an ever-growing collection of baseball
Cornwall... She was bearing down on another group commander, joined Cornwall to discuss inshore.
suspicious contact (this time picked up by a with his British counterpart, Cdre Steve Chick, “Together we will get a better picture and can
French patrol plane) at full speed (28kts) for two how East and West could work together to beat react more quickly to incidents.” ● A Merlin delivers supplies to HMS Cornwall as
hours. the pirates. Lest you think that all this anti-piracy work is the she conducts an anti-piracy patrol off Somalia and
Again, the pirates sent all their weapons and The commodore believes the marshalling of realm of admirals, commodores and commanders, (top, left to right) a Huey AB212 from Greece’s
paraphernalia over the side after finally giving up warships from across the globe has severely enter one leading hand. HS Navarinon touches down on Cornwall’s fl ight
the futile attempt to flee. curtailed pirate attacks. Like most of Cornwall’s ship’s company 23-year- deck at sunset; Cornwall’s Lynx ‘Rattler’ chases
“It’s obviously disappointing that we did not “The combined effect of the transit corridor old LS(CIS) Sarah Metcalfe bears considerable a suspected pirate skiff; and the frigate’s Royal
manage to seize their equipment, but we achieved protected by multinational forces and People’s responsibility on young shoulders. Marines boarding party practise marksmanship
pictures: po(phot) owen king, rn photographer of the year
NEW 016_NN_Sept.indd 1 20/8/09 11:19:17
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