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6 NAVY NEWS, JUNE 2008
‘You helped my country’
I
T’S farewell to the
parties, engineers and seamen one of the two senior RN officers Flying the Mark 9 wheeled
Gulf for 250 Type 22
who use them. in theatre, Cdre Duncan Potts. version of the Lynx, 847 aircrew
sailors...
It was nevertheless a bit of a The commodore oversees carried out a wide-range of
surprise when seven sailors were operations by Combined Task missions from convoy escort
... and hello to the Gulf for
singled out for a Herbert Lott Force 158, an international duties and aerial surveillance to
another 250 Type 22 sailors
Award for their teamwork and group of warships, assisted by supporting counter-insurgency
(plus one mouse) as HMS
efficiency in ensuring the Pacifics Iraqi sailors and marines, which
Campbeltown
operations by ground forces.
and Chatham
were always ready. protects the platforms. Dangers faced by the Lynx
trade places.
“I wondered what I had Cdre Potts took charge of the aircrew were matched by dangers
The former is now
done wrong,” said AB force earlier this year and made it faced by the ground teams in
home in Devonport after
David Patterson when
his fi rst task to get out and andn
221 days away – more
Basra;BasB r the airbase came
he was summoned to the
than half of them eaten
about to gain a feeling ng g under regular aun ttack
CO’s cabin. “I was really
up by patrolling the
for the mission. from mortars and
surprised – and relieved
KAAOT and ABOT
That culminated small arms fi red by
– when I found out
oil terminals just off
with a major insurgents.
what it was for.”
Iraq.
conference by Upon their return
CPO ‘Olly’
... and the latter
maritime leaders from Iraq, some of
Campbell added:
is now safeguarding
in Doha, Qatar, 847 immediately
“It’s really nice to get
said terminals
attended by 16 navies, deployed to northern
the recognition and
after being handed
in particular those from m NorwN ay for Arctic
know that the hard
Campbeltown’s
the United Arab Emiratestetes, training while those traraaini
work we have put in is
baton.
Pakistan, India, France and the left behind took some
appreciated. We’ve all taken
The sisters spent
USA, with HMS Campbeltown welcome leave or headed off on
great pride in ensuring the
24 hours swapping relevant
representing the RN. adventurous training.
boats were ready for operations at
information, papers, documents
“Iraq might be regarded by Finally all back together at
all times.”
and the likes so that Chatham
many as a land-locked country, Yeovilton, it was time for the
From superhuman efforts to
was fully appraised of some of
but she does have access to the squadron’s day in the sun, with a
superhero efforts.
the issues Campbeltown had
sea, and whilst her territorial parade ceremony involving 847’s
Chatham is now in charge,
faced and could effortlessly take
waters may be small, I like to think RM and FAA personnel in front
assisted by her mascot Mighty
over from her.
of them as the vital umbilical that of their friends and families.
Mouse (although quite what 8in
“There’s no doubt that
feeds the economy,” said Cdre Cdre Jerry Stanford, Assistant
we’ve had a tremendously
of plastic rodent can bring
Potts. Chief of Staff (CarChChi rier
successful deployment,”
to the Gulf operation is
“My mission is simple;mple; ; StrS ike Aviation),
said Campbeltown’s CO
anyone’s guess).
it’s really to provide the the he presented the Bambara pre
Cdr Gordon Abernethy.
The mascot (apparently)
level of security and nd TTrropho y – in true naval
“We all missed
conducted a flypast
stability in this part of the e tradition – to the trt
our families
of Chatham and
world until the Iraqis youngest member of
tremendously –
Campbeltown as they
themselves can take the squadron, AET
they have given
swapped places; so
on that responsibility; Lee Morfett.
us all a great deal
too did the ships’
and that forms the The squadron is
of support. They
respective Lynx
second part of my now gearing man
know that we have
helicopters.
mission – which and machine for
an important job
Mouse and men,
is helping the Iraqi the next tour of
to do and the ship’s
Cdr Martin Connell,
Navy and Marines to duty:d Afghanistan.
company should feel
Chatham’s CO, believes
bring themselves on to o o There they will team T
● Campbeltown’s ship’s company pose for a memento of their Gulf
proud of what we have
both are equally prepared
deployment before leaving Iraqi waters
take that responsibility up with their sister Junglie
achieved.”
for the task ahead.
back from the coalition.” squadrons, 845 and 846
The sea boat teams should
“We are taking over one of the
activity at sea, then shifted to the the Type 22. Not all the Senior Service’s NAS.
feel especially proud of their
most important missions the Royal
Gulf as she relieved HMS Argyll. “Maybe we won’t remember efforts at the tip of the Gulf are “It is absolutely right and
efforts.
Navy is undertaking currently,” he
Before turning for home, each man after three or four years focused at sea: until recently 847 proper that personnel from the
The frigate has two Pacific
added.
she and her Royal Marines but sure we will remember your Naval Air Squadron were working Commando Helicopter Force
22 RIBS in the water daily
“My crew are ready to carry detachment laid on a rapid roping countries – when you helped my side-by-side with ground forces and 847 in particular, whose
conducting the boarding/policing
out the task and relishing the demonstration on to the Khawr Al country during this critical time,” around Basra. performance has been fi rst
patrols around the two rigs. challenges ahead.” Amaya Oil Terminal showing how he told those those Royal Navy and In doing so, the Lynx fliers class in demanding operational
That has placed demands As for Campbeltown, she’s now quickly the platform’s defences Royal Marines personnel working collected one of naval aviation’s circumstances under extreme
on the boats far beyond their brought the curtain down on a could be bolstered. alongside his countryfolk. most coveted awards – the environmental conditions are
original specifications. seven-month deployment which The demonstration was watched “My appreciation and thanks to Bambara Flight Safety Trophy – recognised publicly, on a parade
And it has, of course, placed began with Operation Calash off by the head of the Iraqi Navy, you and your families.” for its outstanding record over the such as this,” said Maj Lenny
huge demands on the boarding East Africa, keeping tabs on illegal Admiral Jawad, who also visited His praise was reinforced by past 12 months. Brown RM, 847’s CO.
● ‘One of the most important missions the Royal Navy is undertaking currently’... HMS Chatham sails
past the Khawr al Amaya terminal in the northern Gulf Picture: LA(Phot) Chris Winter, FRPU West
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