2 NAVY NEWS, DECEMBER 2007
Naval Strike Wing/40 Cdo/
HMS Ark Royal
M Coy 42 Cdo
845 NAS/847 NAS/539 ASRM
RFA Wave Knight
HMS Dumbarton Castle
RFA Sir Bedivere
Fleet Fleet FocusFocus
CASTING an eye across the global map above, it’s
probably never been busier in the two years we’ve been
running the feature.
For this past month or so the men and women of the Royal
Navy have truly been scattered to the four corners of the Earth.
We’ll begin with the ship farthest away from home (although
she’s getting ever closer), frigate HMS Monmouth which visited
the legendary Hawaiian naval base of Pearl Harbor on the latest
stage of her world tour (see the centre pages).
By the time she gets home, the Black Duke will have been
away for nine months – something the men of HMS Sceptre can
certainly relate to. The hunter-killer boat returned to Faslane after
a record-breaking global deployment (see page 8).
Further proof that the venerable S-boats can still most
definitely ‘cut the mustard’ was provided by HMS Superb who
evaded Dutch efforts to ‘sink’ her on NATO exercises in the
Adriatic (also see page 8).
Both Superb and Sceptre will be superseded by the Astute
class and the first of class dived for the first time in a test basin
in Barrow (see page 9).
Moving above the surface... The Gulf and Afghanistan very
much remain the focal points of efforts by all the RN, RM and
Fleet Air Arm.
The Naval Strike Wing (see opposite) continues to provide
daily support to troops on the ground in Afghanistan, including
the green berets of 40 Commando (see pages 16 and 17).
To the south-west, HMS Argyll has taken over from her sister
● At dawn we crept... Flight Commander Lt Nige Roberts (left) and pilot Lt George Thompson prepare to pounce on the unsuspecting
HMS Richmond as the current Gulf guardian (see page 10) while
drug-runners in HMS Portland’s Lynx Pictures: LA(Phot) Owen King, FRPU Whale Island
HMS Enterprise is updating the existing poor charts of the
northern Gulf (see page 5). Also in the Middle East region now is
HMS Campbeltown which most recently has been working with
the Yemenis (see page 13).
Strike carrier HMS Illustrious will be heading east of Suez Early whirlybird’s big catch
in the New Year. To gear up for her 2008 mission she’s been
practising with RAF Harriers in the North Sea (see pages 16-17).
Lusty’s sister HMS Ark Royal (aka ‘the other ship’) has also ANOTHER £130m of cocaine will never see The Lynx of 815 NAS suddenly dropped bringing the total haul to $260m (£130m).
been honing her aviation skills with trainee pilots and observers the streets of the USA or Europe thanks to out of the sky and flew alongside the The fishing boat was then escorted to
of 702 NAS off the Iberian Peninsula (see page 5). the alertness of the RN in the Caribbean. suspect boat. Venezuela for local authorities to take over
Fellow Lynx fliers in 815 NAS are proving to be a powerful HMS Portland’s Lynx was on a routine The drug-runners saw sense and brought the investigation.
team working with RFA Wave Knight and HMS Portland in the dawn patrol when its crew spied a their craft to a halt, while Portland’s sea “This is the culmination of five months
Caribbean. Portland’s flight bagged a haul of cocaine (see right), suspicious-looking fishing vessel beneath boat crews plucked some of the bales out of hard work and dedication by my ship’s
while Wave Knight’s Lynx was instrumental in carrying aid to the them. of the water. They eventually recovered company – it’s the icing on the cake for
victims of Hurricane Noel (see page 4). The mother ship then began a concerted 500kg of cocaine, with an estimated street what has been an extremely successful
Wave Knight also performed her more traditional RAS role, effort to pounce upon the dubious craft, value of $65m (£32m). deployment,” said Portland’s CO Cdr Mike
topping up HMS Dumbarton Castle as the Falklands guardship launching her sea boats, while Portland Meanwhile, a US Coast Guard Law Utley.
prepared to head across the Atlantic for home to pay off (see herself gathered speed to intercept. Enforcement Detachment based on “I’m delighted that we’ve taken this
page 7). As the three ‘prongs’ closed on the Portland carried out a joint search of the amount of drugs out of circulation.”
HMS Clyde is, momentarily, the only ship in the Falklands. fishing boat, its crew became suspicious fishing boat with the frigate’s boarding part
HMS Southampton has left the islands having taken part in a and began tossing bales into the ocean as and found 1½ tonnes of cocaine during ● Portland’s two sea boats approach the
disaster exercise in South Georgia (see page 12) and November their craft increased speed. a comprehensive search of the vessel, ‘fi shing’ vessel ahead of boarding it
11 ceremonies in Cape Town (see page 7).
Clyde won’t be lonely for long, however, as she’ll soon be
joined by HMS Nottingham, currently in Brazil (see page 4).
HMS Manchester is making history as the first British warship
integrated in an American carrier battlegroup – the USS Harry S
Truman (see page 7).
Sailors and marines across the globe have paid homage to
their forebears with a series of services of remembrance at home
and abroad, on land and at sea. Turn to page 31 for a round-up
One of the most high-profile ceremonies was the dedication of
the destroyer memorial at HMS Cavalier in Chatham (see page
And finally... No-one has scaled greater heights this autumn
than the men of M Company 42 Commando – perhaps not even
the Naval Strike Wing. The green berets have been exercising in
the Himalayas with Indian paratroopers at heights in excess of
18,000ft (see page 24).
002_NN_Dec.indd 1 21/11/07 12:22:33
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