2 NAVY NEWS, MARCH 2010
Vikings/845 NAS/846 NAS/
RFA Largs Bay
1AGRM HMS Monmouth
RFA Lyme Bay
RFA Cardigan Bay
HMS Gannet HMS Illustrious
800/801 NAS HMS Clyde
RFA Gold Rover
RFA Wave Ruler
Plus one ballistic missile submarine on patrol somewhere beneath the Seven Seas
CULDROSE HMS Dauntless
771 NAS HMS Daring
FFleet Focusleet Focus
WE’RE going to extremes in this edition of Navy News.
Extremes of weather, that is. If you’re a sailor or Royal
Marine, there’s a good chance you’re either hot (Haiti/Gulf/
THE red-grey Sea King – to which thousands of with civilians making up three-quarters of all SAR
Pirate Alley) or cold (Arctic Circle/Antarctica).
climbers and mariners owe their lives – will be aircrew eventually.
We’ll start where it’s chilly: in the far north, HM Ships
gone in six years in a £6bn shake-up of Britain’s The four Coastguard units will begin the
Albion, Ocean, RFA Mounts Bay, Sea King and Lynx from
Search and Rescue service. sswitchover fi rst in 2012 with all the military
THE way sailors and Royal
the Commando Helicopter Force, 45 Commando, the
A civilian fi rm will take over all helicopter r uunits transferred to the new set-up by the
Marines are compensated for
Commando Logistics Regiment, and 29 Commando
rescue duties in the UK – including those e eend of March 2016 – the last day in service
injuries in the line of duty – and
Regiment RA are involved in Exercise Cold Response, testing
performed by two Royal Navy units: HMS of all Sea Kings after 47 years’ fl ying.
the amounts they receive – will be
the Navy’s ability to, er, respond to a threat in the cold (see
Gannet near Ayr and 771 NAS at Culdrose The venerable Sea King Mk5s will be
changed following a review led by
in Cornwall. replaced by the Sikorski S92A, already
a former First Sea Lord.
Norway’s not the only cold climate CHF is currently operating
Naval and RAF aviators will continue in service with some Coastguard units.
Admiral the Lord Boyce
in. Its Sea Kings have clocked up more than 10,000 hours in
to fl y rescue missions, but they will The replacement helicopter fl ies 20kts
headed a study of the existing
Afghan skies as they pass their two-year anniversary in theatre
operate alongside civilian aircrew in non- faster and has a much-improved range of
Armed Forces Compensation
(see page 7).
military helicopters. 260 nautical miles – which means a S92A
Scheme with an independent
HMS Bulwark spent January and February chasing snow.
And SAR missions currently operated by based at Gannet could, in theory, conduct
First she delivered 45 Cdo to Norway, then spent a few days
Gannet – Britain’s busiest rescue unit with nearly rescues in the Bristol Channel or Orkneys,
The scheme provides
in snowy Edinburgh, then got frozen in in Copenhagen, before
450 call-outs in 2009 – will be transferred to or one at Culdrose could range as far as
compensation for Service
back to Tyneside... and more snow (see page 4).
Glasgow Airport, 25 miles away. Morecambe or Dover.
personnel/their families as a
And at the opposite end of the globe, HMS Scott is beginning
Despite that proposed move, the deal They will not, of course, but the new
result of injury, illness or death in
her inaugural deployment to the frozen continent. The survey
with consortium Soteria – comprising helicopters – painted orange and black
service on or after April 6 2005.
Canadian fi rm CHC, defence fi rm Thales, for improved daytime/nighttime visibility
The review concluded that the
ship’s unique sonar suite has provided some stunning images
helicopter giant Sikorsky and the Royal and ‘wearing’ the RN, RAF and
scheme is fundamentally sound,
of the Antarctic seabed (see pages 20-1).
Bank of Scotland – ensures that 12 Coastguard insignia – have
but does require improvements in
A short(ish) distance away, destroyer HMS York is settling
bases around the UK will continue to improved carrying capacity:
a number of areas.
down to her duties as South Atlantic patrol ship. She’s paid
be responsible for search and rescue ten passengers and one
her respects to the fallen of 1982, then pummeled the Falkland
provision. stretcher or two
which have been accepted in full
gunnery ranges with her 4.5in main gun (see page 9).
At present helicopter search and rescue stretchers and six
by the MOD, include:
Right, time to warm up. In the Gulf, HMS Monmouth
around Britain is provided by the two Fleet Air passengers.
continues to guard Iraq’s oil platforms and work with Allied
■ an increase to the
Arm units, plus six RAF bases and four Maritime
navies; her sister HMS St Albans is heading east to join
and Coastguard Agency stations.
her; HMS Lancaster is chasing pirates as is HMS Chatham,
Payment (GIP) paid
The SAR-H project (cunningly, it stands for
although she’s also proved a very handy lifesaver (see pages
throughout an individual’s
Search And Rescue Helicopter) aims to bring all
lifetime to refl ect the fact
the units under one organisation, fl ying the same
Submarine HMS Torbay has finally left the Gulf region
that those seriously injured
helicopter operated by a mix of Fleet Air Arm,
behind. The T-boat’s paid no fewer than three visits to waters
will be unable to work, even
RAF and civilian aircrew.
east of Suez in the past 18 months (see page 5).
beyond Service retirement.
Sixty-six Service personnel will be
RFA Largs Bay has arrived in Haiti to deliver a mix of
The payout will also increase
required under the new set-up,
government and charitable aid to the earthquake-ravaged
to take promotions foregone
nation, aided by a RM-led team on the ground, dubbed HMS
as a result of injury into
Haiti (see page 5).
Royal Marines from 1 Assault Group have been helping to
■ increases to the level of
train riverine units in Nigeria (see page 19).
all awards, except the top
Meanwhile, the latest exchange between Fleet Protection
payout which was doubled as
Group RM and the US Marine Corps saw the former join
recently as 2008; it remains
the latter on its home turf for the latest Tartan Eagle (Tartan
£570,000. Maximum awards
= Scottish; Eagle = American) exercise aimed at improving
available for mental illness
mutual co-operation (see page 8).
will also be increased;
The RN-led staff of NATO’s Standing Maritime Group 2
■ a new expert medical body
provide a unique insight into life aboard a Greek warship,
will be created to advise
currently the force flagship in the Med (see page 6).
on whether compensation
Back to the cold and HM Ships Daring and Dauntless sailed
levels for particular injuries/
in company for the first time during their latest trials off the Isle
illnesses are suffi cient;
of Wight (see opposite).
■ the time limit for making
You won’t read much about HMS Illustrious for some time
claims extends from fi ve to
as she’s just arrived in Rosyth... but HMS Campbeltown should
feature rather more prominently in coming months as she’s left
■ a new fast interim
the same yard emerging from refit (see page 10).
payment so seriously-injured
And you won’t be seeing much more from the good ship
Servicemen can receive
Nottingham, sadly. She’s paid off after a quarter of a century’s
some compensation before
service (see page 13).
the entire claims process is
● PO(ACMN) Jay O’Donnell
And finally, there are two new warships based in Portsmouth
complete, where the cause
is lowered from a 771 NAS
Harbour. When we say ‘new’ we mean 70 years old: High
is clear (e.g blast injuries
Sea King during winching
Speed Launch 102 and Motor Gunboat 81 – ‘the Spitfires
arising from operations).
drills over the Channel
of the Seas’ – have been bought for the nation by Portsmouth
Picture: PO(Phot) Donny Osmond
More details can be found in
Historic Dockyard (see page 17). DIB2010-006.
■ NEWSDESK 023 9272 4163 ■ ADVERTISING 023 9272 5062 ■ BUSINESS 023 9272 0494
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