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Royals give Solent ships good reviews


OVER 2,000 ships sailed into the Solent to take part in celebrations marking the 90th birthday of the Queen Mother. Classic yachts from as far afield as New York took part in the event, organised by the Solent Cruising and Racing Association, and as HMY Britannia, with the Queen Mother embarked, left Portsmouth to be in the review of the gathered ships she was escorted by the Type 22 Class frigate HMS Broadsword. Several days earlier HMY Britannia, this time with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh on board, took part in a second review of ships in the Solent to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of Cunard. Star of the review was Cunard's flagship, the QE2, while a formation of naval vessels, including the Attacker Class training craft HM ships Hunter and Fencer, and the Archer Class training craft HM ships Dasher and Explorer, also took part. Bringing up the rear were Sea King and Lynx helicopters from HMS Broadsword, HMY Britannia's naval escort, and Harrier jets from RN air station Yeovilton. Picture: Mick Rowsell, of Bristow S.A.R.

Hawks patrol River Forth

Naval forces action

BRAVING the chill of a Scottish summer, the latest and most powerful vessels in the Royal Jordanian Coastguard "patrolled" the River Forth while working up with the training staff from Commodore Minor War Vessels organisation. Designed and built by Vosper Thornycroft Ltd., HMJS Al Hussein and HMJS At Hassan are the first two of the Hawk class to be bought by the Jordanians. Capable of more than 30 knots and armed with a twin 30mm gun forward and a single 20mm GAMBO aft, these potent craft were put through their paces at Rosyth over a two-week period. The training and work-up package conducted by the Small Ship's Operational Training Staff (SSOTS) covered navigation, firefighting and communications. From Rosyth the ships returned to Portsmouth where they were being shiplifted to Jordan while the crews flew home.

NATO's two permanent maritime task forces, Standing Naval Force Atlantic (STANAVFORLANT) and Standing Naval Force Channel (STANAVFORCHAN) demonstrated their operational capability as part of the Sea Day demonstrations off Den Helder during the visit of the Secretary General, Dr. Manfred Wbrner.


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Home, sweet home

THE Type 22 frigate HMS Cornwall received a tumultuous welcome when she returned to Plymouth after a ten-month deployment — one of the longest undertaken by a Royal Navy ship for some time. W i t h Miss Cornwall embarked, the frigate was greeted by a flypast of six Buccaneers, two Tornados, a Nimrod and a Canberra. C o m m a n d e d by Capi. Richard Phillips, the Cornwall was involved in drugs patrols with the US Coastguard; antisubmarine warfare exercises and towards the end of her long voyage acted as lead ship with NATO's Standing Naval Force Atlantic. Cornwall's Lynx helicopter flight took on an unusaj task — lifting stores 5.000ft. into Ihc mountains for the Norwegian Army. While Cornwall was involved in a two-week m a i n t e n a n c e period at the Norwegian naval

base in Haakonsvcrn the flight disembarked lo an Army camp. hosted by the I Oth Norwegian Infantry Regiment. When the Army needed help to lift stores to a hut in the mountains the flight was happy lo oblige. Loads were prepared where the road ended and received up in the mountains by three members of the flight. Also back in Plymouth is the survey ship HMS Hecla, after spending seven months' work charting in the South Atlantic (see page 27). A bow door which covers the forward propeller used to keep the ship dead still during certain stages of charting became stuck open, forcing Hccla to make a slow journey home. Cdr. David Smith. Hecla's

commanding officer explained: "We had to nurse her back lo avoid causing further damage." HMS Otter received an emotional welcome when she returned home to the Firsl Subm a r i n e Squadron a I HMS Dolphin after a five months" absence in the South Atlantic. During the deployment L i e u t . - C d r . S t e v e n Sykes, Otter's commanding officer. and his 82 strong crew visited Talchauno, Chile, Florida, and transited the Panama Canal. Families welcoming home their loved ones were joined by Vice-Admiral Sir John Coward, Flag Officer Submarines and the HMS Collingwood Volunteers Band played as Oiler came alongside.

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HMS Argonaut, visited by the Prime Minister at Gallipoii during the recent 75th anniversary commemoration, took the opportunity on her return to present Mrs Thatcher with a framed chart of the 1915 campaign area prepared by the Hydrographer. Seen with her at No. 10 Downing Street are

the ship's marine engineering officer, Lieut* Cdr. John Wadham, and PO(M) Anthony Green. CPO(Phot) Paul Weilings — who took this photograph — afterwards presented Mrs Thatcher with an album of pictures taken by him on board HMS Arrow when she met President Bush at Bermuda.

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