NAVY NEWS, DECEMBER 2007 23
The story of JENG , Ginger and Jack
THERE are three aircraft either (one pilot did have a sorry), with all this blending it’s important to explain that ‘Butch’ Butcher. ‘acceptable’,” Baz says of life
carriers in the Royal Navy.
Mexican bandito ’tache but he’s and merging, it is, of course, something like the future carrier “I expected to forego the in 1 Sqn. “It always about being
Actually, strictly speaking,
wisely shaved it off… and he reassuring that the RN can still is vital not just for the Royal ‘basic luxuries’ – that chance to the best.”
HMS Ocean isn’t really a
was a matelot). hold its own in certain areas. Navy but to all the forces,” Baz pop outside into the fresh air to His squadron comrade Butch
carrier but a Landing Platform
In fact, wandering around “Some of the RAF guys got stresses. relax for a few minutes. adds: “Seeing how it all comes
Lusty you barely notice the RAF. a sound thrashing from the That’s a valid point. For just The ‘basic luxuries’ these together at sea is fascinating.
So there are two aircraft
There are 100 of them on board, middies at uckers. That’s good as today’s generation of fast days aren’t that basic. Around You see how the team works.”
carriers in the RN, then.
but they invariably blend in with to see,” says Lt ‘Baz’ Issitt, one jet pilots fl y at sea irrespective the UK there’s digital and Everything in the air is
Actually, there’s only one.
the ship’s company. of two Fleet Air Arm pilots fl ying of whether they’re dark blue or satellite television available not pretty much the same whether
Well, there’s only one as far as
All are dressed in No 4s or with 1 Sqn. light blue, the same goes for the just in messes and the ward you’re Fleet Air Arm or RAF
HMS Illustrious is concerned.
khaki fl ying suits. The offi cers He has a bit of tightrope to next generation of aces. room, but in individual cabins, – manoeuvres, routine, chatter
“Where’s the other ship at
have even tailored their formal walk. That’s something the Fleet Air and there are 100 computers on the radio.
the moment?” asks Lt Cdr
dinner dress to blend in with the He’s RN through-and- Arm readily accepts. hooked up to the internet… if, Only taking off, landing,
‘Micky’ Spillane, head of strike
dark blue environment. through, but since passing out Its men and women expect of course, you have the time for and living in 20,000 tonnes of
operations on Lusty. Indeed, often the only thing of Dartmouth half a decade ago
to live in a tin can for weeks,
such pleasures. pusser’s grey is different from
The other ship? outwardly distinguishing he’s had little taste of the Senior
perhaps months, on end.
“Everyone has made the life at Cottesmore.
The other carrier (mentioning them from the world of the Service… and a lot of tasting the
The slightly m o r e
squadron feel very welcome on Well, not entirely. You won’t
the name is a no-no.) Senior Service are those funny RAF.
board, right from the word go,” fi nd air traffi c controllers at the
Ah yes, the ‘other ship’ (or the epaulettes (or ‘bar codes’ as the “I have known most of the
Crabs go to
‘Butch’ adds. Rutland airfi eld. They’re just a
‘other one’). sailors like to call them). squadron for fi ve or six years.
sea with a little
And that’s pretty important, voice on the end of a headset.
So if there’s such friendly There are, of course, subtle I’ve trained with them. I don’t
nay crucial. They’re a voice on the end of
banter between ships, what differences: titles (SENGO see them as RAF or Royal Navy.
We here at Navy News a headset in the Senior Service
hope friendly relations with the and JENGO, for example – not I just see them as mates,” Baz
are guilty of some gentle too.
RAF. Japanese sumo wrestlers but adds.
a lot more
ribbing of our air force But they’re also a face in the
Well, actually, the Crabs get Senior and Junior ENGineering That said, he’s keen to stress
brethren at times (well, wardroom in the evening.
off surprisingly lightly. Offi cers) and ranks, but the two the importance of the Royal
most of the time…). “That personal touch is very
For a start, (disappointingly), forces are more similar than you Navy and its ships (which the
But deep down important – just discussing
there’s no-one called Ginger or might think. Crabs, annoyingly, have a habit
to be,” says
there’s considerable things afterwards. It’s a bit of a
Algie. There’s not the slightest With all this ‘jointery’ (to of calling ‘boats’…).
pilot Flt Lt
mutual respect. novelty and it really enhances
hint of a handlebar moustache borrow some MOD-speak, “From my point of view, “Nothing is just the way we work,” says Butch.
● Illustrious turns into the wind at speed ready for her Harriers to land
Pictures: PO(Phot) Christine Wood and LA(Phot) Darby Allen, HMS Illustrious
022-023_NN_Dec new.indd 2 20/11/07 12:30:19
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