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NAVY NEWS, JUNE 2008 11
Dauntless
HMS Daring isn’t the only new
Because it’ause it’ss there... there...
Arrows aim
gears up
Bec
for Meet
destroyer making waves this
Your Navy
month (see pages 20-21).
Her younger sister HMS
THE Red Arrows will pirouette
Dauntless is rapidly approaching
through the skies on July 25, the
her date with destiny: heading out
opening day of Meet Your Navy
to sea for the first time.
in Portsmouth – the 21st-Century
The Type 45 warship is in
successor to Navy Days.
the latter stages of fitting out
We cannot, of course, allow the
at BAE’s Scotstoun yard (she
RAF to dominate a naval event,
received her main gun last month
so the Fleet Air Arm past and
and harbour trials are imminent).
present are also lined up for aerial
The computers in her
displays.
operations room have been fired
The RN Historic Flight – the
up, the propeller shafts have
naval counterpart of the Battle of
turned under the ship’s power,
Britain Memorial Flight – will be
and the galley, laundry and
performing on all three days of
messes are almost finished.
the show, as will present-day FAA
And while Dauntless grows,
helicopters.
so too does her ship’s company
From those helicopters, Royal
(now 29 strong) and her list of
Marines will ‘rapid rope’ – sliding
her affiliates.
down a, er, rope, er, rapidly
The destroyer picked up where
– on to a suspicious vessel in
HMS Newcastle left off, bonding
Portsmouth Harbour to rescue a
herself with the great Tyne city.
damsel in distress.
“It’s exactly a year since the
For those of you who prefer
first of the ship’s company arrived
a rather more measured pace of
in Glasgow,” said Cdr Giulian
life, Brazilian naval cadets will
Hill, Dauntless’ Senior Naval
be bringing their magnifi cent
Officer.
tall ship Cisne Branco for the
“The building of the ship is
duration of Meet Your Navy.
progressing well and strong ties
The RN will be the largest
have been established with our
single presence at the event,
key affiliations in the Newcastle
although the ships themselves are
and elsewhere in the UK.”
subject to change.
Indeed, many of the affiliates
One RN presence is confi rmed,
Dauntless enjoys are identical
however: the singing PTI.
to those fostered by the Geordie
By day LPT Jay Picton
Gunboat.
provides fi tness advice and
Percy Hedley School for
coaching to military personnel at
youngsters with special needs
Fort Blockhouse in Gosport.
received a visit from ten members
In the evening and weekends,
of the ship’s company, who AS YOU read these words,
An RAF-led team was the first tricky a mountain it is). and we have been surviving by the the club swinger is a (night)club
challenged the pupils to a game
four Royal Navy climbers
to the top. Like everything in the military, seat of our pants. swinger, performing self-penned
of wheelchair football. The sailors
should stand atop one of
Flt Lt Jonathon Percival stood the teeth needs a tail, in this case a “So far we have broken two songs at venues around the UK.
received a 6-0 drubbing.
on the summit at 5.30pm on May base camp at 5,600m (18,300ft, a cameras, two head cams, a solar The 24-year-old has already
Success hasn’t been overly
the world’s most imposing 4 and unfurled the roundel. ‘mere’ 3½ miles above sea level). panel and a hard drive. topped an independent chart with
evident at St James’ Park, home mountains.
His success was the fi rst on the Beyond ensuring the climbers “It has been a minor miracle his debut three-track demo.
of Newcastle United Football Surg Lt Lara Herbert (pictured
mountain this season and as such have all they need, the base camp that we have been able to keep Jay will be on stage for around
Club, this season. above), Lt Cdr Tom Boeckx and
earns huge kudos for him and his team is their link with the wider things going but the support from 30 minutes each day, hopefully
But that didn’t stop the Royal Marines Majors Matt Skuse
Sherpa, Dawa. world. home has been excellent.” performing on his former ship
Magpies offering a warm and Maj Molly Macpherson (plus
But we don’t want to dwell too “Running the website has been If the climbers succeed they HMS Gloucester.
welcome to the Dauntless team, his – toy – duck) should have raised
long on an RAF triumph... interesting work but a challenge,” will be among the fi rst ten British Further details about the
who treated the sailors to a tour the White Ensign on the summit of
And anyway, long before there
explained base camper Lt Cdr climbers to beat Makalu. event are available from www.
of the imposing stadium, assisted Makalu in the Himalayas.
was a Crab atop Makalu, there
Richard Walters. You can read more about the meetyournavy.co.uk. Tickets are
by Newcastle United legend Peter The quartet were in the lead
was a Royal Marine.
“Communications equipment is expedition at www.makalu2008. available from the website or by
Beardsley. party for the assault on the
Green beret reservist Al Hinkes
not designed to work at this altitude org calling 0871 230 5582.
There’s now a ship’s badge 8,462m summit (that’s 27,762ft scaled the mountain in his
hanging up somewhere in the or 5¼ miles above sea level) as the successful quest to climb all 14
stadium as a reminder of the visit. 50th anniversary expedition by peaks above 8,000m.
The men and women of Britain’s Armed Forces reached Al was the fi rst Brit to stand on
Dauntless return to Newcastle its climax. the top of Makalu – and shared his
this month for their first official Although it’s a tri-Service expertise with the 2008 climbers.
reception by civic leaders. It’s not celebration of military He’s one of fewer than 250
all wining and dining, however. mountaineering, the Royal Navy mountaineers to scale Makalu
Two dozen sailors will and Royal Marines represent since 1970 (more climbers reach
grapple with cleaning up one of almost half of the main team on the summit of Everest every year,
Newcastle’s inner city parks. the slopes of Makalu. which gives you an idea of how
Visits in triplicate
NOT too many of Her Majesty’s Ships can Hospice, RNA shipmates from Grimsby
squeeze up the Manchester Ship Canal. and nearby Old Clee, and TS Grimsby Sea
Certainly the city’s own destroyer can’t (not Cadets.
without losing some of her mast, at any rate). The sailors are gearing up for a six to
Minehunter HMS Middleton can... and eight-month stint in the Gulf on the Aintree
did. deployment (see pages 14-15) where they
She cannot, however, navigate the canals will take over one of two Sandown-class
and waterways of Greater Manchester. warships, Blyth and Ramsey; Grimsby
So Salford Quays was about as close herself will remain in Faslane, where
as the Hunt-class warship could get to the she’ll be crewed by comrades returning
town for which she is named, Middleton, home.
near Rochdale. A short hop along the east coast, and
And as berths in the middle of an industrial frigate HMS Iron Duke could be found in her
metropolis go, it’s really quite nice: the Lowry affiliated city.
museum, a celebration of Salford’s most famous It’s been four years since the people of Kingston-
artistic son, is just a stone’s throw away. Upon-Hull last saw the distinctive outline of the Type
Not that the ship’s company had too much time for 23 warship.
admiring paintings in a busy four-day programme. So the Tykes welcomed the sailors with open arms.
It began with that tricky – and lengthy – passage The highlight of Iron Duck’s three-day spell on
of the ship canal (it takes at least six hourrs the Humber wth as a civic reception in Hull’s
to get to Salford Quays from open water),r), impressivim e Guild Hall at the request of the
a passage enjoyed by a string of North West est city’cit s Lord Mayor Cllr Brenda Petch.
dignitaries: the Lord Mayor and Mayoress s There were activities for the 180-strong
of Manchester, the Mayor and Mayoress ship’s company from the moment the frigate
of Salford, Wirral and Rochdale, and the came alongside, from an offi cial reception
High Sheriff and Lord Lieutenant of on arrival to a naval careers forum for
Merseyside. local advisers.
There were more dignitaries to host A team from the ship grappled with
once alongside in Salford: the ship’s tidying up and painting a children’s play
company staged an official reception for area in Barnsley Street.
VIPs and affiliates, and gave Middleton and And a sizeable number of the ship’s
Chadderton Sea Cadet a guided tour of their company were on hand for an open day. In six
vessel. hours, 1,500 locals fi led aboard Iron Duke to enjoy
The youngsters weren’t the only tourists to wander a tour and chat with her sailors.
around the minehunter as Middleton staged a ‘ship “The reception we have had throughout our visit
open the visitors’ afternoon. has been fantastic – to have so many visitors was
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Pennines... really impressive,” said Iron Duke’s CO Cdr Mark
HMS Grimsby was reaffi rming links with the Newland. “The people of Hull showed a real
eponymous port. enenthusiasm for the Royal Navy and we thank
Thanks to a run-in with the side of a fjord rd ththem for their interest.
in Norway (Grimsby came off worse...), visits sits “Particularly for my ship’s company that
to the famous fi shing town have been fairly y ccome from Hull – and I have fi ve or six – this
infrequent in recent years. was a really special weekend for us.”
The ship’s company have nevertheless Having completed Operational Sea
maintained ties with Lincolnshire and Training, Iron Duke is now undergoing
over fi ve days last month, they cemented a brief spell of maintenance at home in
those bonds. Portsmouth before heading across the
Local councillors invited the sailors to North Atlantic to spend six months in and
the town hall, and Grimsby’s ship’s company around the Caribbean on hurricane relief
could also be found visiting St Andrew’ss aand anti-drug running duties.
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