Tag: royal navy

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The Falklands funeral: how Margaret Thatcher’s military legacy was reflected

By Sharon Black

All regiments involved in funeral for former prime minister had link to south Atlantic conflict Lady Thatcher wanted her funeral to have a Falklands theme, and though no details were thrashed out before her death, the Ministry of Defence had a good idea which units would have to be involved when the planning for the ceremony began. All of the regiments taking part played an important role during the conflict in the south Atlantic – a reflection of the fact that their sacrifices, and successes, underpinned the former prime minister’s significant military legacy.

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1975: Sea King helicopter heralds new era in search and rescue

By Sharon Black

A chopper that was tasked for anti-submarine operations is now deployed ‘for the greater good’ In 1975, the sinking of the cargo ship the Lovat with the loss of 11 lives in rough seas off Penzance raised questions about the effectiveness of Whirlwind helicopters for use in sea rescues. The Guardian leader column below was published in the aftermath of the Lovat tragedy and echoed the growing call for the more powerful Sea King helicopters to be used instead.

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General Sir Nick Houghton to be new chief of defence staff

By Sharon Black

Army commander with reputation as ‘Whitehall warrior’ to take key role amid ongoing deep cuts to armed forces A battle-hardened army commander who has recently earned a reputation as a “Whitehall warrior” is expected to be named on Tuesday as the new chief of defence staff at a time when the armed forces are continuing a painful and prolonged period of cuts.

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Arctic convoy and Bomber Command veterans to get decorations for bravery

By Sharon Black

New medals and clasps will be given to surviving veterans within fortnight after government bows to years of campaigning Surviving veterans of the Arctic convoys and Bomber Command will receive new medals or clasps within a fortnight following the government’s decision to bow to years of campaigning and properly acknowledge their bravery during the second world war. Up to 250,000 veterans will be eligible for the decorations, but those still living or their widows will receive the awards first, the defence minister Mark Francois will announce on Tuesday

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Royal Navy teams help prevent tug sinking

By Sharon Black

Sailors from the frigate HMS Lancaster and offshore patrol ship HMS Severn struggled in dark, freezing conditions to plug a hole in the damaged hull of the Christos XXII and pump out tonnes of water to prevent it sinking.

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Royal Navy Lynx aids capture of suspected pirates

By Sharon Black

Flight 217 of 815 Naval Air Squadron is currently deployed on board the French frigate FLF Surcouf as part of Operation Atalanta, the EU ’s counter-piracy mission off the Horn of Africa. The Lynx was sent ahead by the French warship to find the suspected pirates after the USS Halyburton, operating as part of NATO ’s Operation Ocean Shield , received a distress call from a merchant vessel reporting she was under attack from 6 men armed with rocket-propelled grenades. Boarding teams approach a suspected pirate vessel as Flight 217’s Lynx helicopter hovers above [Picture: Crown Copyright/MOD 2013] Although the MSC Jasmine, sailing 260 miles off the Somali coast, managed to repel the attack themselves, a German EU maritime patrol aircraft was scrambled to track the suspect vessel, which was by then towing another boat with several more men on board.

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Royal Navy sailors help African community

By Sharon Black

25 volunteers from the Plymouth-based frigate’s company headed to the village of Kigamboni while their ship was berthed in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The sailors helped to install windows and doors in the community centre building, repaired fencing, and built ‘hugle beds’, which will be used to grow vegetables in dry conditions.

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Royal Navy sails into London Boat Show

By Sharon Black

As an island nation, the UK’s prosperity and security is dependent on its ability to access the sea. That is why the Royal Navy is globally deployed and has a range of versatile ships, submarines and aircraft operated by professional sailors, aviators and Royal Marine Commandos. The Navy will be at the London Boat Show from 12 to 20 January, where visitors can learn more about naval life and how, every minute of every day, somewhere in the world they are protecting the nation’s interests

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HMS Monmouth reassures shipping with anti-piracy exercise

By Sharon Black

The Plymouth frigate HMS Monmouth joined forces with a United States warship and air power for an exercise involving the military and merchant shipping to show how the two can work together to ensure safe passage on the high seas. HMS Monmouth, known as the Black Duke, was given the task of providing close-in protection to two huge tankers – including the Bahamian-registered Arcturus Voyager (333 metres long and displacing 160,000 tonnes) which travels at only 5 knots/6 miles per hour (9.26 kilometres per hour). The UK warship was supported by US Navy and coast guard patrol ships, a supply vessel and the air-defence destroyer USS Winston S Churchill – with a Royal Navy navigator aboard

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VIDEO: HMS Edinburgh sends home festive cheer

By Sharon Black

More than 260 sailors serving on board HMS Edinburgh will spend the festive season on board the Portsmouth-based warship while she sails the South Atlantic. But in a bid to spread some Christmas cheer the personnel have donned their smartest Santa outfits and created a video for their loved ones set to The Darkness’ Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End): video The video features scenes from around the ship with sailors wearing Santa hats, Christmas cracker outfits and elf costumes waving hello to family and friends from thousands of miles away at sea.

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HMS Portland sets sail after £27 million refit

By Sharon Black

With more than 260,000 man-hours invested in the almost year-long project, the 133-metre HMS Portland has returned to sea bristling with the latest high-tech equipment, maintaining its role at the cutting-edge of the Royal Navy fleet. A total of 19 major system and capability upgrades have been undertaken on the Type 23 frigate , including the installation of new anti-submarine warfare sonar, full upgrade of the ship’s computer systems, an overhaul of the Seawolf missile system, replacement of guns, refurbishment of the galley and upgrades of accommodation