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A TRIPTYCH of books earned
one of Britain’s foremost naval
historians the coveted maritime
Prof Brian Lavery, an expert
on the RN in days of sail and
steam, collected the Desmond
Wettern Media Award from
Countess Mountbatten of
Burma at a ceremony attended
by leaders of the Navy past
and present and its many
Prof Lavery is a long-standing
author on nautical subjects
as well as curator emeritus of
ship technology at the National
Maritime Museum.
He was singled out amid
tough competition for three
books which appeared in the
space of a year: Churchill’s
Navy, Shield of Empire – a
history of the Royal Navy north
of the border – and River-Class
Frigates and the Battle of the
The fi nest single work of
maritime literature this past
12 months was deemed to
be Andrew Welch’s in-depth
study of the clash with Iceland
over fi shing rights – The Royal
● Practice for a boarding operation with the Lynx
Navy in the Cod Wars – earning
on the back of frigate HMS Argyll, and (below) a seaboat
him the Mountbatten Maritime
sets out on a patrol in the northern Arabian Gulf
Literary Prize.
A high-quality series
of documentaries, Deep
Wreck Mysteries, stood out
among a raft of impressive
television shows, winning the
programme’s producer Crispin
You say goodbye,
Sadler the Crystal Dolphin
As this was likely to be
the last Wettern awards in
their present format, new
Commander-in-Chief Fleet
Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope
presented a series of ‘special
recognition awards’ for long-
and I say hello
time champions of the work of
the Royal Navy, Royal Marines
or Merchant Navy.
Recognised were: Iain
AS the sun rises and sets It can produce a somewhat During the first few days on
Ballantyne, editor of Warships over the waters of the
intricate surface picture watching patrol, Argyll was called upon to
International Fleet Review; Mike Arabian Gulf, the Royal
over the 50-plus small skiffs and provide expert medical help to an
Critchley, publisher of Warship
Navy and its allies maintain
large dhows that cluster within a injured US Coast Guard sailor.
World and head of Maritime
a steady watch on the plat-
three-mile radius of the precious First-aider Logs(CS) Chris
Books; author and historian
platforms. Gatcum and the frigate’s medical
Prof Andrew Lambert of King’s
forms that keep the oil
And precious is the officer Surg Lt Aaron Calvin trav-
College London; Andrew
income flowing into
word, as the fuel that elled by seaboat to the US Coast
Linnington, of seafarers’
the economy of Iraq. is pumped through the Guard Cutter Maui to help PO2
union Nautilus UK; and Navy
The OPLATs – the OPLATs accounts for up to Robert Rusko USCG.
News assistant editor Richard
shorthand term for the 90 per cent of Iraq’s gross Initial treatment on the US ves-
Khawr al Amayah and domestic product. sel was followed by a night on
The awards, held aboard the
Al Basrah oil terminals Each skiff, dhow board the British frigate before
Silver Sturgeon on the River
– have been a familiar or craft that breaches PO Rusko was taken ashore to a
Thames, are named in honour
sight to members of the 2,000m exclusion local hospital.
of Daily Telegraph journalist and
the Royal Navy for zone has to be investi- So despite the familiar sur-
Royal Naval Reservist Desmond
the last decade. gated, with interaction roundings, the unexpected is a
Wettern, Fleet Street’s last
And while HMS patrols (IPATs) and constant presence in these waters.
naval correspondent, and are
Richmond bowed out boarding operations a Cdr Piers Hurrell, command-
organised by his widow Gillian
of her duties around the regular feature of life for ing officer of HMS Richmond,
and the Maritime Foundation.
oil platforms as November
those in the area. said: “It has been a particularly
They were instigated to
began, it is HMS Argyll who
But the sailors work hard at busy and rewarding period for the
celebrate maritime journalism
now watches over these looming
building up friendly relations with ship’s company.
and to champion the role of the
the local fishermen and merchant “Our challenge has been to
sea in British life today.
Under the heading of Combined
mariners through routine patrols. remain in a ready state to deal
“Our economic prosperity
Task Force 158, the RN ship is
However vigilance remains key with any number of situations at
is linked to the sea and working alongside the US Navy,
for the units in the area as the very short notice.
– surrounded by it as we are US Coast Guard and Australian
oil platforms and the wealth they “By training the Iraqi Navy in
– we are dependent on the Navy to guard the OPLATs which
produce remain a target for terror- key OPLAT defence skills and
Royal Navy to maintain the just happen to be situated in the
ists keen to disrupt the good boarding techniques, my
security of our trade routes,” centre of one of the busiest and
work in the area. team are helping to create
Countess Mountbatten told the most lucrative fishing grounds in
The fledgling Iraqi the right conditions so that
180 guests at the ceremony. the Gulf...
Navy are central to this: the Iraqi self-determination in
units from CTF 158 are the maritime sphere can
ably assisted by Iraqi succeed.”
Patrol Craft, and Iraqi Argyll has now
specialist legal advice
Marines work with the taken over this busy
RN and Royal Marines programme of work.
during boarding The ship’s company
to forces personnel
operations and train- are working in defence
ing. watches – six hours on,
The routines for six hours off for most
Suffered a Military Injury?
responding to possible of the crew – so that the
We deal with all types of injury claim involving
attacks on the OPLATs ship is ready to respond to
are regularly put into practice, any situation at any time of day
the military.
although usually for nothing more or night.
We can assist you with your claim under the
sinister than a lost fishing boat. HMS Richmond is expected
new AFCS and advise you on whether to
However there are other unex- home to Portsmouth just before
pursue your claim in the civil courts under our pected challenges that come the Christmas, while Argyll will remain
‘no win no fee’ specialist military legal
Navy’s way on this watch. on station until spring next year.
advice scheme.
Police Interview/
Courts Martial
Nigel Burn and Gilbert
contact Crate expectations for Fleet Air Arm
Blades are well known for
Nigel Burn or Tean Butcher
Bank Street, Lincoln LN2 1DR IS IT a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a big elements. (they forgot the moon on a stick – Ed).
their Courts Martial
Tel: 01522 512345 between 9am - 5.15pm metal box for helicopter spare parts. In 2005 alone £300,000 of helicopter Somerset-based Mobile Shelter Solutions
expertise throughout the
or for Military Discipline Matters only contact Slung beneath Merlins in Cornish skies spares were written off after being dam- managed to fulfil all these criteria with their
UK and Europe. Nigel Burn Mob: 07775 860608 after 6pm in recent months has been a new piece of aged in transit. Not surprisingly, the Fleet ‘transport frame’.
kit to make front-line flying considerably Air Arm wanted something better. Those frames underwent extensive tests
We can also advise on: more efficient. In fact, it wanted something which could at Culdrose, where a team from the Joint
Employment Issues
Each time a Merlin or Sea King deploys be slung under a Merlin or Sea King, hold Air Transport Evaluation Unit was happy
Family Problems
it is expected to take 2,000 different spare up to 2.2 tonnes of kit, be reduced to a that the crates could carry two-tonne pay-
parts – weighing about seven tonnes in all. flat-pack when not in use, protect parts loads underneath Merlins at speeds up to
House Purchases
Unfortunately the packs used to trans- from the elements with a cover (embla- 80kts.
port the kit – Chacons, or ‘Chatham con- zoned with the RN logo if necessary), take Suitably tested, these flat-pack frames
tainers’ – were difficult to pack, difficult up almost a third less space than its pred- are now being used by front-line Merlin
to store and prone to a battering from the ecessor and be quicker and easier to use squadrons on operations at sea.
010_NN_Dec.indd 1 21/11/07 16:58:53
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