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Quorn deals
with the peril
of Beryl
Awe from Ark
SHE is 133 times smaller and her
NOW here’s a rare sight. for two weeks, didn’t she?
ship’s company is 126 times less
No, not a beautiful autumnal day on the South Coast but HMS “There are few sights quite as awe-inspiring as seeing an aircraft
Ark Royal – “the best ship in the world” (not our words, but those carrier thundering through the high seas at full speed, powered
But there are things HMS
of one of the sailors aboard…) – returning to sea for the fi rst time by four Rolls-Royce Olympus engines, driving two mighty shafts
Quorn can do that one of the
since February. through a David Brown gearbox – of Aston Martin,” enthused Cdr
most potent warships on the
Ark successfully completed a two-week package of trials to Paul Carroll, Cdr Marine Engineering.
Seven Seas, USS Harry S
shake off the cobwebs following a £12m overhaul in Portsmouth. “Ark’s already proven that she remains as swift and nimble as
Truman, cannot.
It’s the fi rst step down a long road which will eventually see Ark ever. That’s generated enormous pride throughout the marine
One is open a tinny at
take over from ‘the other ship’ (aka HMS Illustrious) as the nation’s engineers who’ve lovingly and painstakingly improved and repaired
sea. Another – rather more
fl agship and strike carrier. the ship.”
importantly – is the ability to
For the past few years she’s been used as a second HMS Ocean, As well as a million and one trials, Ark hosted 40 cadets from
track down and destroy mines.
serving as a helicopter assault ship and platform for Royal Marines BRNC Dartmouth as part of the new-look training for future offi cers
Red Rose
The Hunt-class warship is
rather than jump jets. (see the 2-6 pages for more details).
roughly half-way through a
All that changes when Lusty goes into refi t in the new year. The tranche of cadets includes rookie offi cers from foreign
five-month deployment with a
Britain needs a fl oating launchpad for Harriers, so Ark Royal has navies, among them OC Omar Al Ismaili of the Royal Omani Navy.
is fi red up
NATO minehunting force – a
been converted back to her original role, plus received some TLC “It’s a great opportunity for me to be trained in the best ship in the
deployment which has, unusually,
at the same time. world. I will forever remember my time in HMS Ark Royal.”
taken the group across the Pond.
New ‘intersleek’ paint was applied to her hull during the revamp And if he doesn’t remember, TV will help refresh his memory.
ANOTHER month, another blast
September found Quorn in
(boffi ns reckon the paint will make her scythe through the waves a Historian and TV presenter Dan Snow joined the ship to record yet
of a Seawolf from the silo of a
New York for the city’s 9/11
couple of knots faster and cut the carrier’s fuel bill by nine per cent) more footage for his impending multi-part documentary on the RN
Type 23 frigate.
while the engines received an overhaul and new computer systems past and present, Masters of the Sea. It’s due to be screened by This time it’s HMS Lancaster
Last month saw the
were installed. the Beeb early in 2010. testing her primary air defence
Portsmouth-based warship
First up was a series of weapons/marine engineering and aviation Dan witnessed, says Ark’s CO Capt John Clink, a ship’s company system before she deployed.
exercising with the Truman as
trials over a fortnight off Plymouth. “who have worked relentlessly to get the ship back to sea. The year opened for
part of the Americans’ JTFX war
Chinooks, Sea Kings and Lynxes – but no Harriers yet, they’re at “I recognise that our seven months in Portsmouth have been Lancaster somewheres east of
games (a sort of version of our
sea with Illustrious presently – all set down on the fl ight deck (and hard work, but Ark Royal is now faster, leaner, and greener – and Suez.
Joint Warrior exercises).
subsequently took off again) as part of the ship’s ‘air acceptance looking forward to taking her place at the vanguard of the Fleet.” And it ends there too for the
The Truman battlegroup was
trials’. Now back in Portsmouth, she’s preparing for more extensive Red Rose warship, although
working up off Virginia.
The Phalanx chain gun, Minigun and GPMGs all fi red live rounds sea trials and Operational Sea Training ahead of assuming fl ag this time she’s chasing down
Quorn was charged – perhaps
creating, says Commander Weapon Engineering Cdr Dan Ferris, “a duties in 2010 and deploying to the USA as part of the Auriga 10
pirates rather than protecting
understandably – with clearing
real buzz among the ship’s company”. deployment.
Iraq’s oil platforms.
a safe passage for the leviathan
As for the ME department, well Ark successfully sailed around ■ ‘The other ship’ leads Joint Warrior, pages 25-27
The last act before deploying
through the (fictitious) Beryl
was bespoke training from
FOST to meet the demands of
The RN vessel successfully the impending piracy patrol and
recovered fi ve mines during the an obligatory fi ring of Seawolf
‘free play’ phase of the exercise. against a towed target in UK
“The Joint Task Force Exercise exercise ranges.
with the US Navy was a superb
, FRPU East
So fast did it burst from its
proving ground for us ahead silo, that the man behind the
of live operations with the lens (CPO(ET) Lynch) couldn’t
NATO group when we return to quite get the entire missile in
European waters,” said Quorn’s his camera frame.
CO Lt Cdr Tim Neild.
The ‘Queen’s own ship’
After JTFX, Quorn put in to
(Her Majesty is the Duke of
Norfolk, Virginia, where she was
Lancaster for whom the Type
visited by CINC Fleet, Admiral e: LA(Phot) Chris Mumby
23 is named) will take over from
Sir Trevor Soar, who’s touring the
HMS Cumberland off the Horn
Fleet as he settles into his new
of Africa attempting to stifl e
attempts by Somali pirates to
Admiral Soar’s command
hijack ships.
brings with it important NATO
“Since April, Lancaster’s
duties at his Northwood HQ, so
undertaken a busy re-
he also called on the task group’s
generation process and I’ve
fl agship, Denmark’s HDMS
been proud of the manner
Thetis, and addressed a parade
in which my sailors have
of sailors from across the NATO
group, complimenting them on
risen to the challenge,” said
their achievements to date.
Commanding Offi cer Cdr Rory
“I know the whole team were
lifted by his words of praise for
Commander Maritime
the job we are doing within the
Operations Rear Admiral Mark
group,” said Lt Cdr Neild.
Anderson dropped in on the
After more exercising off
ship’s company before their
the Eastern Seaboard, working
departure, while the Band of
with the Canadians, Quorn
the Adjutant General’s Corps
is returning to more usual
will provide suitable musical
European waters via Bermuda,
accompaniment as Lancaster
where there’s some historic
deployed from Portsmouth.
ordnance to dispose of.
Another Type 23 already well
on her way to the Middle East is
the Black Duke.
HMS Monmouth won’t see
Devonport again until spring
get HOST
2010 after sailing to relieve her
sister HMS Kent in the Northern
Arabian Gulf.
The fi rst half of 2009 was
THE strange waters of the pretty arduous for the ship as
Antarctic beckon for HMS Scott she was brought back to life
as she steps into the void left by following a refi t, culminating
HMS Endurance’s accident last in Operational Sea Training
year. where the ship’s company were
And to that end, the survey praised for their enthusiasm
ship has undergone four weeks of and willingness to learn.
rigorous training: Hydrographic Before leaving the West
Operational Sea Training, or Country, the sailors treated
loved ones to a families’ day to
HOST comprises one week
give them an idea of what goes
of harbour training followed by
on aboard the frigate on a daily
three weeks at sea training.
It’s like its FOST counterpart
BOST (B is for Basic), but with a
lesser emphasis on fi ghting a war.
Mine goes
But that doesn’t mean there’s
no war: indeed, Scott’s ship’s
company are expected to be
with bang
able to defend themselves (and
their ship) and perform force
EXPERTS from the Southern
protection duties – a particular
Diving Group blew up a wartime
challenge as there are 42 sailors
mine off the Dorset coast.
on a ship the size of HMS
Commercial divers found the
unexploded ordnance lying in
The FOSTies also throw in
70ft of water about a mile off
other little treats such as salvage
Swanage, near Ballard Point.
missions, disaster relief exercises
They called in the experts –
and helicopter crashes on deck.
in this case RN frogmen from
The fi nal test – as for ships
passing through BOST – is a
The latter determined the
Thursday war: Scott sailed into
weapon was an air-dropped
a full-blown confl ict and was German ground mine containing
charged with aiding a stricken 300kg of high explosive
vessel. Upon detonation by the divers,
While steaming at full speed it created a spectacular plume of
towards the casualty, the survey water upwards of 200ft high.
ship became the casualty of a ■ Divers gear up for Afghan
(simulated) collision. mission, page 6
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