2 NAVY NEWS, SEPTEMBER 2009
848 NAS HMS Pursuer
Vikings/845 NAS/846 NAS/
RFA Largs Bay
854 NAS/Fleet FS(Air)
Royal Marines Reserves
HMS Iron Duke
RFA Fort George
HMS Chiddingfold HMS Echo
RFA Wave Knight
RFA Lyme Bay
RFA Cardigan Bay
TON RFA Gold Rover
Plus one ballistic missile submarine on patrol somewhere beneath the Seven Seas
The toast of Manchester
AND so that was summer. Blink and you missed it.
Well, blink and some of you missed it. But not the poor lads
and lasses east of Suez. It’s 40-plus degrees Celsius there at this
time of year.
The Gulf has rather become a ‘forgotten theatre’ with media
emphasis on the bitter fighting in Afghanistan and chasing
pirates around the Indian Ocean.
But the RN is still there – and still there in force: four
minehunters (Atherstone, Chiddingfold, Pembroke, Grimsby),
one frigate (Kent), and three RFAs (Cardigan and Lyme Bays,
Wave Knight) comprise Britain’s naval support to the Gulf region
(see pages 24-25).
It’s a part of the world the men and women of HMS Richmond
know all too well; they’re back in Portsmouth after six months
guarding Iraq’s oil platforms (see page 6).
Outside the Gulf, HMS Cumberland and Chatham support the
international effort against pirates/smugglers/drug-runners and
the like in the Indian Ocean (see page 16).
It’s almost as sticky in the Caribbean, where HMS Iron Duke
scored a significant bust within days of beginning her counter-
narcotics patrol (see opposite).
It’s certainly sticky in West Africa, where survey ship HMS
Enterprise has been helping to train the tiny navy of Sierra
Leone (see page 5).
The Taurus task group has been where it’s sticky (Far East)
and now it’s home. It rained when HM Ships Bulwark, Albion
and Somerset left Devonport back in February... and it rained
when they sailed back last month, although that didn’t dampen
the welcome (see pages 4 and 5).
Home too is HMS Manchester back in Pompey after half a
year in the South Atlantic/Pacific; she was blessed by a glorious
summer’s day in the Solent (see right)...
... while sister ship HMS Gloucester traded places with her
in the Falklands, delivering some artefacts of the 1982 to the
islands’ museum in the process (see page 8).
The bravery and devotion of the fliers of HMS Gannet has
been recognised by locals with the Freedom of South Ayrshire
(see page 8).
And from Ayrshire to air shows (groan – Ed). Culdrose AIr Day
just got off the ground thanks to rotten weather in Cornwall (see
the Falklands to test the combined response of That was the last act south of the equator.
page 20). On display was the Fleet Air Arm’s 100th anniversary
Words which are not necessarily natural
the three Forces to any threat). After passing through the Panama Canal,
‘Balbo’ flypast – which took the top gong at RIAT (also see page
From ‘war’ to peace, and there can be few Manchester paid a rare visit to Cartagena
But on a glorious summer’s day (yes, there
more tranquil places on earth than South in Columbia to discuss combined efforts to
The fliers of 815 NAS have been testing the latest souped-up
was one...) on the Solent, HMS Manchester
Georgia, visited by Manchester in company strangle the illegal drugs trade on the high
variant of Lynx with some live firings of Sea Skuas off the Welsh came home after 198 days away, having sailed with Black Rover. seas.
coast (see page 9). three oceans (North and South Atlantic and Roughly eight in ten Mancunians got ashore The fi nal stop was Bermuda for the islands’
HMS Daring commissioned in Portsmouth with her sponsor the Pacifi c) and passed through two canals on this far-fl ung outpost of empire. Their visit 400th birthday celebrations. The archipelago
the Countess of Wessex in attendance (see page 11), while her (Patagonian and Panama) clocking up 28,500 coincided with one by the Princess Royal who was settled by Admiral George Somers back in
sister HMS Dauntless has completed her second period of trials nautical miles in the process. had made the lengthy journey to open a hydro- 1609 after his fl agship Sea Venture was wrecked.
in impressive fashion (see page 13). The veteran Type 42 destroyer left electric plant powering the British Antarctic Bermudians re-enacted Somers’ landing before
With their boat in refit, submariners from HMS Triumph Portsmouth at the beginning of the year to Survey’s research station. holding a service of thanksgiving on the beach,
headed to New Zealand for (very wet) adventurous training (see serve as guardship for Britain’s South Atlantic After all that ice and snow, it was time to supported by a marching platoon from HMS
page 8), while the T-boat herself is our ‘ship of the month’ (see dependencies, notably the Falklands and South warm up a bit with a visit to Rio for a mix Manchester.
page 12). Georgia, duties which devoured a good half of of downtime and working with charities And then across the North Atlantic and
After an extended period away on operations, Triumph’s sister the deployment. supporting the city’s street kids. home.
HMS Turbulent renewed acquaintances with the good folk of Manchester joined HMS Clyde, the RN’s After another spell around the Falklands, “My ship’s company return to the UK proud
Warrington by visiting the Cheshire town (see page 13). permanent presence in the Falklands, and including anniversary events of the 1982 of a job well done and looking forward to a
HMS Quorn has raised the NATO flag with an international tanker RFA Black Rover for the regular Cape confl ict, then it was farewell South Atlantic, period of recuperation,” said CO Cdr Paul
minehunting force and paid tribute to her predecessor off Bayonet exercise with the local Army (the hello Pacifi c (via the Patagonian Canals and Beattie.
Normandy (see page 6). Mercians) and RAF units. Magellan Strait). “We return to the UK having made a
And finally, Admiral Sir Jonathon Band stepped down as The destroyer’s 4.5in main gun was in action Once in the Pacifi c, the Type 42 made for signifi cant contribution to the security of the
Britain’s ranking sailor after three years at the helm – but not for three hours pounding ‘enemy’ positions Chile to take part in a major naval exercise, Falkland Islands and the counter-narcotics
before a farewell visit to the Gibraltar Squadron who took him with in excess of 100 high explosive shells Teamwork South, (featured in our August effort in the Caribbean and Atlantic Oceans.”
for a spin around The Rock (see page 7). during Cape Bayonet (held every six weeks on edition). Picture: LA(Phot) Christopher Browne, FRPU East
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