This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.

Echo feels the pull of Gravity

REWARD for completing Operational Sea Training and a sustained period of survey work in Cardigan Bay for HMS Echo came with a trip to the Emerald Isle.

The survey ship enjoyed her mid-leg stand down of a lengthy work-up and regeneration period in Dublin, a city fabled for its hospitality. And it lived up to expectations

for many of the ship’s company who were paying their fi rst visit to Eire.

Organised tours to Trinity College and Kilmainham Gaol (where leaders of Irish rebellions, including later premier Éamon de Valera, were incarcerated) were arranged for the Echoes. They were well attended but not as much (oddly) as a look around the Guinness Storehouse where the tour ended with a free pint of the ‘black stuff’ overlooking Dublin in the famous Gravity Bar, which offers 360˚ views of the Irish capital from a vantage point 120 metres above street level. “Dublin’s always been a vibrant

and welcoming place – that was obvious once again to all my ship’s company,” said CO Mike O’Sullivan, who has numerous personal ties with the city. “With our regeneration package now nearing completion, the visit was a well-deserved break for us all before continuing to prepare materially and mentally for our forthcoming deployment.” His ship’s now resumed survey duties around the British Isles.

Drama – but no crisis

WE KNOW Wafus can be a bit theatrical, but 771 NAS took it that extra mile with two ‘dramatic’ rescues on the same night.

Pictures: LA(Phot) Jenny Lodge, FRPU East

Sea King Rescue 193 was scrambled from Culdrose to pick up a 47-year-old woman who collapsed at the Minack open-air theatre near Land’s End. The casualty was airlifted to

Royal Cornwall Hospital while, in the finest traditions of theatre, the show – Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost – went on. Barely was that rescue complete than the controllers at Culdrose received an SOS from Oscar Wilde. MS Oscar Wilde, that is, an Irish Ferries vessel passing between Land’s End and the Scillies.

Rigg was winched on to the 31,000-tonne ferry to assess the condition of a casualty; he quickly determined the gentleman needed airlifting to hospital at Treliske, which Rescue 193 duly did.

Aircrewman CPO Dave Qatar lessons

STALKING the upper deck, carbines at the ready, the boarding team of HMS Somerset shows how the RN and RM conducts their business in the Gulf

and Indian Ocean. The demonstration by the party

was just one laid on by the men and women of the Type 23 frigate for senior and junior officers from Qatar (the latter are rather more accustomed to daytime temperatures of 45˚C than the Brits...). Somerset’s the latest in a series

of RN vessels to work with the Qataris this year; her sister HMS St

Albans and minehunters

Atherstone and Chiddingfold have all worked with Qatar units in 2010 as part of wider efforts to engage with the military of friendly Gulf states. Somerset left her ‘home from

home’ – Bahrain, hub of RN operations east of Suez – and made the short journey (c.120 miles) to Qatar’s capital. The warship hosted a lunch for senior members of the Qatar Emerati Navy and Coastguard, headed by Col Abdullah M Al Baker,

the acting director of

On the Square: the Band of HM Royal

Marines School of Music (23 tracks, 69 mins)

Included on this album of popular marches to set the feet tapping and pulse racing are: When the Saints Go Marching In, Sussex by the Sea, Thunderbirds (the fi lm Music), The Little Bugler, Swing Along, Light of

Foot, Royal Standard, The Mad Major, Glorious Victory, Fame and Glory, Best Foot Forward, Sons of the Brave, With Sword and Lance, Men of Music, My Regiment, Drum Majorette, Birdcage Walk and On the Square. Plus Fanfare and Sunset of course - and the recording here is particularly fi ne. Major Paul Neville conducts

Compact Disc £12.00 incl p+p (worldwide)

Make cheques payable to Eastney Collection – most major credit cards also accepted Eastney Collection, 60 Mayford Road, London SW12 8SN

Tel: +44-(0)208-673-6157; Fax: +44-(0)207-772-9545; Email:

operations and training. He was one of a number in

the group of visitors who had enjoyed initial offi cer training at Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth. “They were visibly proud of their association with BRNC and enjoyed recalling fond memories of their time there,” said Somerset’s Commanding Offi cer Cdr Andrew Burns.

naval issues with a cross-section of the ship’s company on patrol. His flying visit to the region also saw the admiral drop in on minehunters Chiddingfold and Pembroke in Bahrain, plus the British and US headquarters in the kingdom – UK Maritime Component Command and Fifth Fleet respectively. It is from Bahrain that

And so down to the nitty gritty. On sailing from Doha, nine junior Qatari offi cers joined Somerset as part of their sea training programme to widen their knowledge of maritime security operations and the work of the Royal Navy in the region. Lt Cdr Keith Mabbott,

Somerset’s operations offi cer, guided the visitors through a series of demonstrations as they toured (almost) every inch of the frigate. The bridge team explained

modern navigational techniques (aided by the ship’s WECDIS computerised chart and information system); the ops room team laid on a simulated air defence exercise; and the mixed Navy-commando boarding team climbed into sea boats, zipped around the Gulf, scrambled up a rope ladder and searched Somerset for ne’er-do-wells (they may, or may not, have found several...). “The Qatari offi cers’ experience

the day-to-day operations of Somerset are directed as part of the international Combined Task Force 152. Under that task force, the Gulf mission for RN frigates has expanded from the close protection of Iraq’s two oil terminals – the focal point of British naval operations in the second half of the Noughties – to wider maritime security throughout the Arabian Gulf (97,000 square miles, or slightly larger than Great Britain). But that doesn’t mean that the Khawr al Amaya and Al Basra terminals,

which Iraq’s economy relies,


strangers to Somerset. The latter platform –

have become

at sea with Somerset was very well received,” said Lt Cdr Mabbott. “The importance in strengthening our ties with regional partners and demonstrating our enduring commitment to their security cannot be underestimated.” The visit by the Qataris is not the only one Somerset’s hosted, nor are they the only forces for whom the ship’s company have laid on demonstrations. CINC Fleet

Trevor Soar joined the ship by sea boat to discuss a range of

Admiral Sir

in everyday RN acronym speak known as ABOT – is the more modern and larger of the two platforms (it stretches for more than a mile and can pump oil into four waiting tankers simultaneously). Iraqi sailors and marines

provide the bulk of the security for both platforms, but as a nascent force, they’re eager to pick up tips from old hands. So enter Somerset’s firefighting team who jumped on to ABOT for a FIREX – fire exercise – to show how the RN deals with a blaze in a challenging or restricted environment.

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48
Produced with Yudu -