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NAVY NEWS, SEPTEMBER 2009 7
Admiral bows out in Gib
● HMS Sabre rattles along in the waters around Gibraltar as outgoing First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Jonathon Band carries out his fi nal sea-
going duty before retirement
Pictures: Cpl Ralph Merry (RAF)
OUTGOING First Sea Lord Admiral all who are buried there.
round the Rock, both patrol boats returned
Sir Jonathon Band made a farewell visit
One of the highlights of the tour was a visit
to squadron’s home base on the western side
to Gibraltar – and spent his last official
to the Gibraltar Patrol Boat Squadron.
of the peninsula, where Admiral Band had his
photograph taken with the ship’s company of
sea time on one of the Navy’s smallest
Admiral Band went on board HMS Sabre,
Sabre.
vessels.
patrolling the Gibraltar Territorial Waters with
He then stepped ashore for the last time in
More than 40 years after first stepping on to
the squadron’s other fast patrol boat HMS
his distinguished career.
the British Overseas Territory as a Sea Cadet,
Scimitar, carrying a Sky News team to mark
Later on in the tour, Admiral and Lady
Admiral Band, accompanied by his wife, Lady
the occasion.
Band visited the Clearance Diving Element
Sarah Band, called on British Forces Gibraltar
This was to be Admiral Band’s last time
and Windmill Hill Signal Station before flying
shortly before he retired as the Royal Navy’s
on board a Royal Navy warship at sea in his
out from Gibraltar’s spectacular airport.
most senior officer.
official capacity as Chief of the Naval Staff.
“I first visited the Rock as a Sea Cadet in
Formal engagements included attending a
During the patrol the Commanding Officer
1966 and, since then, I have been back here
Sunset Ceremony at the Tower and presenting
of HMS Sabre, Lt Charlie Luxford, was able to
many, many times,” said Admiral Band.
medals to four military staff and a certificate
demonstrate the role of the squadron operating
“The Navy has always been at the heart of
to one civilian – Alfred Rovegno has put in 38
in the Joint Operations Area.
Gibraltar.”
years’ loyal service in Gibraltar.
Lt Luxford said: “It was a great privilege to
Later the Admiral unveiled a new grave take the First Sea Lord to sea for the last time, ● (Right) Admiral Sir Jonathon Band (in
register at the Trafalgar Cemetery. as well as being able to display the capabilities white) with the ship’s company of HMS Sabre
The register includes a diagram showing all of the squadron.” at the Gibraltar Fast Patrol Boat Squadron’s
the graves in the cemetery, along with a list of After an extensive patrol of the waters base
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