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NAVY NEWS, JUNE 2008 27
● Cdr Rob Wilson refl ects on Somerset’s NATO deployment from the port bridge wing of his frigate
ste NATO has other peculiarities. different to the table and there are agent to arrange things – food, squeeze in – and the agents fi nd money,” he tells his captain at
on You cannot have a ceremonial some great people out here in the fuel, gash, paint perhaps, spare they have six ships all demanding a daily briefi ng.
ith sunset. It’s too British – or Italian task force,” Cdr Wilson stresses. parts. Will the ship need a brow, the same thing at the same At least the ship can ease
ng O
nce fi xed, 2087 must be
tested. But you cannot
just test it. First you need
permission from NATO or German for that matter on their “I like to think that whatever handlers on the quay, or will she time.” the burden on those well-worn
to, momentarily, ‘do your own respective ships. Lowering the Somerset does, we make an be berthed outboard of an Allied High demand invariably leads wallets, thanks to the Bank of
nd thing’. And if you do ‘do your NATO fl ag at such a gathering is excellent fi st of it and I hope that vessel? to high prices. Don’t expect to get Somerset.
he own thing’, then you have to play perfectly ok, however. the admiral does as well. On a deployment for HM much change out of 50,000 Euros At any one time there’s
off catch up to re-join the force and In fact, there are a few things “All I ask of the ship’s company Government, you can plan port (£39,500) for a pontoon and pas more than £100,000 in dib-
ed resume your NATO duties. in NATOland which lead to raised is that they take it seriously and visits weeks, perhaps months in boat in Naples, for example. dobs safely locked away in
t’s Indeed, if something goes eyebrows, knowing glances, a give it 100 per cent. They aren’t advance. All these foreign port visits are the ship’s safes – chiefl y Euros
wrong aboard the ship, Somerset few barbed comments. just representing the UK, but Working for NATO HQ in hard on Jack and Jenny’s wallet, and Dollars.
nd cannot simply head for the nearest There is a temptation to want NATO as well.” Naples, you get perhaps three or too. The question, in this internet
eer port to sort it out; she must fi t in to take charge, to do it our way. And that’s important. The high four days to sort everything out You’ll actually hear Somerset global economy age, is: why?
to with the NATO programme. That would perhaps be arrogant. number of port visits isn’t to – “which makes the last few days sailors complain that there have Wouldn’t it be easier for Jack
ard “We’re a NATO, not a national, It would certainly be wrong; Allied allow the sailors plenty of runs before a visit quite chaotic,” says been ‘too many runs ashore’ to wander up to El Banco cash
on, asset. The important thing is that warfare is about compromise. ashore but to fl y the fl ag for the Lt Cdr Steve Quantrill, Somerset’s (Gasp – Ed). point, pop his card in the slot
to the admiral regards Somerset as And who’s to say that the RN way Allies, to show the peoples of the Logistics Offi cer. CPO ‘Chuck’ Norris concurs. and draw out lots of Johnny
ee a valuable part of his task group,” is always right? Mediterranean what NATO does. “It’s not easy for the ports “I think the lads are glad to get Foreigner spondoolies?
explains Cdr Wilson. “Every ship brings something For every port, there’s an either. They have six warships to away from land, to save a bit of marina Continued on page 28
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