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08

Not any old Orion
T
HE GODS were
(Replenishment At Sea) and the Flag Officer Sea Training, the considerably more rounds from MCM1, and his staff, who have with it to the Mediterranean:
good to the men
mine warfare drills. Vivids promptly blasted a target the ship’s general-purpose set up shop aboard Cardigan REMUS (Remote Environment
and women of Task
The former was conducted – roughly the size of a football – machine-guns (whose barrels Bay. Monitoring UnitS), a torpedo-
courtesy of small fleet tanker towed around 500 yards behind were glowing red by the end of This is the first time one of shaped portable sonar which
Force Orion as they RFA Black Rover, which was the tanker out of the water. the shooting, apparently). the RFA’s new amphibious ships scours the seabed for suspicious
began their four months
also hosting reservists from So quick were the marksmen We’re told by the Black has been used as a command/ objects, then returns to a mother
in the Mediterranean.
Plymouth RNR unit HMS Vivid, to deal with the ‘football threat’ Rover team that the two female flag/mother ship; the four Bays ship where the data it has
The waters of Biscay were
brushing up on force protection that a replacement target wasn’t Vivid sailors proved rather were originally designed to collected can be downloaded
unseasonably calm as the five-
duties before heading to the immediately to hand. better shots than their male support a Royal Marines landing on to computer for mine warfare
strong task group headed for
Gulf to join RFA Sir Bedivere. One was eventually counterparts (they also enjoyed operation. experts to analyse.
Lisbon, then on into the Middle
Reservists are being deployed found, towed 750 private cabins aboard). Fleet Headquarters are keen After relatively short stops in
Sea.
to ease the burden on full-time yards behind Black With the Vivid reservists to know what these large ships Gibraltar and Augusta, Sicily,
Four minehunters – Sandowns
sailors visiting overseas ports Rover and also deposited safely back on land, are capable of – and whether the Orion deployment began
Walney and Shoreham and
by carrying out guard and dispatched, and the FOSTies happy the they can support a minehunting in earnest in Patras in western
Hunts Atherstone and Hurworth
other protective duties. although it minehunters knew how to RAS, force in the long run. Greece.
– form the core of the Orion
British personnel demanded the task force bade farewell to Cardigan Bay also serves Ahead of Exercise Ariadne, a
group, bolstered by new landing
protected by the Vivid Devonian shores in glorious as the floating base for the mine hunt for NATO forces in the
support ship RFA Cardigan Bay,
team should be spring weather... specialist very shallow water Peloponnese run by the Hellenic
the staff of 1st Mine Counter-
in safe hands as ...Glorious weather which divers of Fleet Diving Unit Navy, there was some very
Measures Squadron, and the
the reservists surprisingly persisted as they 2, who work hand-in-hand welcome downtime, including
frogmen of Fleet Diving Unit 2.
proved crossed Biscay bound for their with mine warfare forces to barbecues on the sweep deck
The group formed up
particularly keen first port of call, Lisbon, for a clear underwater explosives as the sun dipped over the
off Plymouth initially to
shots. brief pit stop, before moving on in advance of an amphibious Mediterranean horizon.
hone their collective skills,
Under the to Gibraltar. assault.
● RFA Black Rover prepares to
including practising RAS-ing
watchful eye of The force is led by Cdr Chris To make their task easier, the
top up HMS Shoreham.
assessors from Davies, Commanding Officer of FDU2 team has taken a gizmo
Back in black
THE Navy’s Lynx helicopter display team is ready for a summer of wow-
ing the crowds as it gears up for the show season.
The Yeovilton-based Black Cats (pictured right) make their 2007 debut
at the internationally-renowned Duxford air show – and will continue
performing stunts for the crowds until the second week of October.
This year will also see the team – pilots Lt Gary McCall and
Danish exchange officer Lt Cdr Lars Harpoeth and observers Lt Craig
Holliehead, Lt Simon Collins, and Lt Simon Hilton – heading
Registered Charity No. 1075015
overseas to perform in Denmark.
PATRON: HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN
The fliers have been in training in the Somerset
skies since February and have now received
The RN & RM Childrens is a National Charity
their certification permitting them to per-
form through the summer.
based in Portsmouth. We care for children
The grim weather did its best to dampen the
of men and women who have served or are
team’s validation display, but it all went perfectly
to plan – and Cdre Jerry Stanford, in his role as
serving in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.
Assistant Chief of Staff Carrier Strike Aviation,
signed off the team for a sensational season of
Originally set up as an orphanage, Monique Bateman
flying displays.
And wherever the cats go, so too does their
we now assist children with a wide or Laurene Smith
world-first simulator. This year the display will be
range of needs and at times of
RN & RM Children’s Fund accompanied on the ground by a hi-tech motion sim-
ulator which mimics every move the Black Cats make to
family crisis.
311 Twyford Avenue
give audiences an idea of what the aircrews experience.
Portsmouth
Also new for the 2007 season is a black and grey livery for the two
Applications can be made at any
PO2 8RN
helicopters – in keeping with the mammal the helicopter takes it name
time. Those seeking assistance
from. (The team itself draws its name from the RN art of ‘one upman-
Telephone: 023 9263 9534
ship’, or ‘black catting’ in Jackspeak.)
can contact the office direct for an Fax: 023 9267 7574 Sponsorship to support the team on its travels this summer comes
application form:- Email: rnchildren@btconnect.com
from watchmakers Breitling and Yeovil optometrists Robert Frith who
provide the aviators with their obligatory Ray-Ban sunglasses.
Picture: LA(Phot) Billy Bunting
0008_NN_June.indd 108_NN_June.indd 1 118/5/07 14:51:078/5/07 14:51:07
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