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4 NAVY NEWS, JUNE 2008
Liverpool’s
Location,
good casa
Re-location,
THE fi rst port of call in the
Americas for HMS Liverpool was
the party capital of Rio.
Detonation
Benevolence not beer was on
A WARTIME bomb was fi nally
the minds of the ship’s company
blown up by naval divers after a
as they left the Type 42 destroyer
week-long operation continually
and headed into the Brazilian
hampered by bad spring weather.
metropolis.
Indeed so bad were conditions
Their first port of call was
that the 500kg German device
Casa Roger Turner, a shelter for
shifted from the safe spot of
Rio’s street children named in
seabed the team from Southern
honour of a former British naval
Diving Group had moved it to.
attaché.
It took Remus – the RN’s
All sections of the ship’s
torpedo-shaped robot mini
company grappled with clearing
submarine – to find the bomb
rubbish and discarded building
once more with its hi-tech sonar
materials from a recently-erected
after strong currents had carried
structure at the orphanage, fixed
it away.
wiring and painted walls, while
The saga began when a digger
the comms team rebuilt an old
improving sea defences near
PC and hooked it up to the web.
Felixstowe dragged up the bomb
Back aboard Liverpool, the
on April 21.
caterers’ spare time was devoured
By the following day, the SDG
by crafting a cake – fittingly in
team from Horsea Island had
the shape of the Type 42 – which
towed the weapon out to sea and
was promptly handed over to
were preparing to blow it up.
children.
Bad weather, terrible visibility
Casa Roger Turner is not the
and horrific currents – the latter
only orphanage for Rio’s street
prevented the divers attaching a
children; a perennial recipient of
charge to the bomb – thwarted
RN and RFA aid is Casa Jimmy
their efforts.
(named after Led Zeppelin
Once re-located on April 29,
guitarist Jimmy Page).
the divers could resume their
It also received a visit from the
destructive work.
Liverpool sailors who spruced up
The bomb was found in about
the building. ● True grit... Mne Mark Ormrod is determined to cross the parade ground to join his Troop Picture: LA(Phot) Steve Johncock, FRPU West
30ft of water a little over a mile
As for the ship, she’s just
off the Felixstowe seafront.
replaced HMS Nottingham
When it was blown up in the
as Britain’s representative in
fading light of April 29 it sent a
the South Atlantic, joining
plume of water 200ft into the air
HMS Clyde in and around the
and rattled homes more than two
Falklands.
High and dry
‘You come back as
miles way.
Taste of Kent
THERE’S nothing like a routine
call-out.
Boat. Stranded. Loch Lomond.
Skipper overboard. Send help.
And so HMS Gannet
scrambled one of her Sea Kings
with Lt Cdr Brian Nicholas, Lts
Liv Milles and Tim Barker, and
another person...’
for Jersey
FRIGATE HMS Kent was
the RN’s representative at the
inaugural Jersey Boat Show –
and by far the largest vessel on
display.
winchman Flt Sgt Euan Gibson Indeed most of the craft
bound for the famous Scottish on show to the public were
lake.
IN THE dark days after
the military’s specialist people – we believe in Images of the young green beret superyachts, speedboats and the
The skipper was indeed in the
losing his legs and right
rehabilitation centre. getting up on our feet carrying an Afghan girl wounded like.
waters of Loch Lomond.
arm to a mine blast in
The struggle to and just cracking on,” in a Taleban mortar attack were The ship’s company hosted
And his boat was indeed walk again was most said Ben. flashed around the world (and won a stand ashore explaining the
stranded. Just not in the lake. Helmand, Mne Mark definitely worth it. “It has been the the photographer a prestigious role of their ship and today’s
No, what the Prestwick fliers
Ormrod set himself his
“Today was proudest day of my award – see pages 18 and 19). Senior Service, while the chefs,
found was a speedboat a good
goal.
awesome,” he life, but this isn’t just “Even the smallest things which sorry logisticians (catering
30ft from the water’s edged,
He would stand shoulder-
enthused. “To get up, about me. The lads you once took for granted such services (preparation)), prepared
half resting in a bunker at Loch walk and stand there getting their medals as flicking on a light switch, you food for a lunch hosted by the
Lomond Golf Course.
to-shoulder with his comrades
– and then get back today are all heroes.” now appreciate. You see things Commanding Officer Cdr Simon
“It’s got to be one of the
and walk proudly to receive his
– was a very proud Guest of honour at differently,” Will added. Hopper and an official reception
strangest shouts I’ve ever been
campaign medal.
moment.” the ceremony, Second For 40 Commando’s CO, Lt (held ashore but plastic seagull
on,” said aircraft commander and
On a sparkling spring afternoon
He sat down next Sea Lord Vice Admiral Col Stuart Birrell, the parade decorations gave it a suitably
Gannet CO Lt Cdr Nicholas.
in Somerset, the 24-year-old
to fellow amputee Sir Adrian Johns. He ceremony was as much about nautical flavour...).
“We do quite routinely get
crossed the parade ground at
Mne Ben McBean, who told the Royals: “Success saying ‘thank you’ to familes for The ship also hosted a ‘defence
called out to rescue people in the
Norton Manor watched by the
lost his left leg and right arm is not easy and there is a price their constant support while the industry day’, demonstrating
water, but to get there and fi nd
men he fought alongside, his
in Afghanistan – and who also to pay. Three men paid the highest men were in Helmand. to some of Jersey’s movers and
the boat high and dry was quite
family and 2,000 friends and loved
had stood up and walked across price.” “Without their support, we shakers what Kent is capable of:
amazing.
ones of 40 Commando.
the parade ground to receive his Those three men were Lt John simply could not do the job we the frigate’s Lynx and seaboat
“Luckily the boat’s owner had
“I really had to work hard
medal. Thornton, Cpl Damian Mulvihill do. It is their letters, their parcels buzzed about, the ship conducted
managed to jump clear of his
to receive my medal. To be
Ben hit the headlines earlier this and Mne David Marsh; 25 which keep us going when times high-speed manouevres, crew
craft before it hit the shore and
walking for this has been such an
year after being hailed a hero by comrades were seriously injured are hard,” he added. tackled imaginary fires and
he made his own way out to dry
achievement. ,” said Mark.
Prince Harry – who returned from during 40’s six-month tour of And so with the formal ceremony the ops room thwarted an
land.
“If it had taken me half an hour
Helmand on the same flight as the duty. over, the Royal Marines laid on (imaginary) air attack.
“In the end, the man was
to walk across to my Troop, I
Royal in March. Injured or not, all men of a display for their supporters The stand-off in the Channel
uninjured and that was a good
would have done it.”
Like Mark, his goal was to walk 40 Commando returned to before serving up a rather large Islands was a welcome break for
result – I guess the only thing The green beret was gravely in front of friends, family and Norton Manor changed by their barbecue. the Portsmouth-based warship
damaged was probably his pride.” wounded during a patrol on comrades this day. experiences in Afghanistan. The green berets are now as it came just before the
The boat was eventually Christmas Eve. Unlike Mark, however, he had “You go to Afghanistan as one enjoying some well-deserved final week of Operational Sea
returned to its more usual He has spent the past three only three weeks to learn to walk person but you come back as leave before returning to duties Training, which would determine
surroundings thanks to a lot of months learning to use his again. another. It makes a man of you,” at Norton Manor at the end of Kent’s readiness to head off on
elbow grease. prosthetic legs at Headley Court, “All Royal Marines are positive said Mne Will Charters. this month. impending deployment.
THIS is not something you see every day... A ‘Bagger’ Sea
King of 857 NAS prepares to set down on the sprawling
fl ight deck of the USS Harry S Truman in the Arabian Gulf.
The airborne surveillance and control helicopters have
been in the Gulf region since last February, using their
sophisticated radar to monitor the sealanes.
They are currently detached to aviation training ship RFA
Argus.
But the one Bagger left the auxiliary behind for a spell
aboard the Truman, sharing ideas (and perhaps the odd dit)
with their USN counterparts, the E2C Hawkeye teams who
perform a similar role in their fixed-wing aircraft.
“This was a great opportunity for us to see how the
Americans go about their business and a preview of how
operations might look on HMS Queen Elizabeth or Prince of
Wales,” said Lt Martin Russell.
Their visit to the Truman – which is being escorted on
its Gulf deployment by HMS Manchester – was assisted by
the fact that a fellow ‘Bagman’ is serving aboard the super-
carrier: Lt Cdr ‘Sparky’ Gill is a UK liaison officer on the flat-
top’s battlestaff.
As for 857, it was formed in late 2006 when 849 NAS and
its two flights were turned into three distinctive squadrons.
As well as flying surveillance missions from Argus, the
((Sea) King for a daySea) King for a day
Sea Kings have a secondary role of providing a Search and
Rescue service for Allied warships, which means a sizeable
chunk of the helicopters’ time is spent on practice missions
and drills – often involving Argus’ doc, Surg Lt Stuart
McKechnie.
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