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Fest provides welcome breaakk
Oil Terminal or ABOT, initially under the the VIPs were picked up by Monmouth’s Planning is everything – the weather an inventory of detailed engineering and
command of Cdre James Morse, and from Merlin helicopter so they could watch cleared right on schedule, and the sail past general maintenance items were tackled.
last month Cdre Chris Richards. the Special Forces teams winch on to by ten ships, accompanied by a fly past of That also gave the ship’s company
The security of these two Atherstone and Chiddingfold four Hornets, made for good a break; some met families and
platforms, several miles off simultaneously. viewing from the shore as friends who had flown out for a
the Iraqi coast and which A further team of Special well as the VIPs’ ship. spot of sunshine, others undertook
generate a significant Forces personnel was The flotilla then closed a sport diving course while some
proportion of Iraq’s winched on to Lyme Bay. each other from the just chilled out ashore.
income, is crucial There were then two initial 500 yards to Lyme Bay’s sister RFA
to stability in the fly-pasts. 200 yards and Cardigan Bay is back supporting
region. The first featured steamed into a V Iraqi Navy training after a port
Monmouth will a pair of Apache formation to allow visit to Bahrain last month.
be the first Type gunship helicopters, photographs of the While there she hosted a visit
23 since HMS the second two fleet to be taken by Commander-in-Chief Fleet,
Richmond in May F/A18 fighter jets. from a helicopter Admiral Sir Trevor Soar, who
2009 to operate in Atherstone and circling overhead. was in the region to meet the
this area. Chiddingfold then sailed Job done, the flotilla various ship’s companies.
She will also seek to contribute into Kuwait harbour in formation dispersed, with Atherstone And finally, Pembroke’s sister
more broadly to stability in the Gulf to prepare for the following day. and Chiddingfold heading back south Sandown-class ship HMS Grimsby has
by offering training opportunities with the The final day saw the pair sail out into to Bahrain. been conducting Seafox trials out in the
Iraqi Navy and with other coalition forces a hazy, overcast day, to be met by the six On arrival Atherstone, with plenty of sea waters of the Arabian Gulf.
in the area. awaiting Kuwaiti fast patrol craft, Lyme time behind her in recent months, entered a In the process, MCM1 Crew 8 became
Commanding Officer Cdr Tony Long Bay and Monmouth, making an impressive period of maintenance and upkeep. the first Sandown-class team to detonate the
said: “HMS Monmouth will add a spectacle. Lyme Bay is also back on task, her Navy’s new mine disposal system.
great deal of value to the Maritime The minehunters manoeuvred into place primary role being the support of all the Crew 8 is due to return to Faslane in
Security Operations in the Northern either side of the stern of Lyme Bay with the Navy’s minehunters in the region. March, when they will take over HMS
Arabian Gulf. Kuwaitis in two groups, each line astern of That leaves three other semi-permanent Walney ahead of tasks in home waters.
“The Royal Navy trains its sailors the Hunts. members of the Navy’s Gulf flotilla to catch Cdre Tim Lowe has handed over marina
and Royal Marines well and, as a Monmouth brought up rear-and-centre. up with. responsibility as Commodore Combined
result, the Black Duke is motivated In this formation the Anglo-Kuwaiti A freshly-painted HMS Pembroke went Task Force (CTF) 152 to Col Tareq Al
and equipped to contribute to flotilla steamed past the British Embassy, back to sea in late November following a four- Zaabi, of the United Arab Emirates Navy
the continued security in the which has direct views over the waterway. week shore support period in Bahrain, when Staff, at a ceremony in Abu Dhabi.
Monmouth will remain on
duty in the Arabian Gulf until
the spring.
On page 9 we looked at a busy day
in the life of HMS Atherstone.
d with
She and Chiddingfold returned to their
sy, for
Forward Operating Base (FOB), Bahrain,
and a
after a hectic and varied programme keeping
her at sea for weeks.
The two Hunts had headed north to
conduct training serials in the North
Arabian Gulf.
That meant the usual routine
at sea whilst deployed of defence
watches, where the ship’s company
work for seven hours, before
taking seven hours off to sleep,
then work for five hours before
taking five hours off to sort out
personal administration, do
physical training and so on.
It’s a tried and tested routine
but it does take its toll – and has
the distinct disadvantage of making
one day feel like two.
This routine was broken up by the Thank
You Kuwait ceremony.
From the Hunts’ perspective, the three-
p For
day event started with a training session
– with so many VIPs watching the
high-profile event, no one wanted
to make any mistakes.
That meant numerous
evolutions that the ships seldom
get the opportunity to practise,
such as Officer of the Watch
manoeuvres, where a number
of ships manoeuvre around one
another in close quarters.
Kuwaiti Special Forces were
also winched on to the Royal
Navy vessels from helicopters
so that the VIPs, on the big day,
would be able to enjoy a grandstand
view of a wide range of military skills
ng the from their vantage point on board HMS
Amaya Monmouth.
Basrah Day two involved just the British units as
You Kuwait’ festival; HMS Atherstone takes part in
merican oiler USNS John Lenthall during Exercise
ffi cer of the Watch manoeuvres at the ‘Thank You
during operations in the Gulf of Aden; Monmouth’s
cal fi shermen in the Gulf of Aden; a man overboard
a night shoot on a calm, moonlit night in the Arabian
through their paces. Shooting was conducted with
conducted the shoot, for general purpose machine
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