New CDS praises success of recent Navy operations

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

New Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir David Richards, has praised the Royal Navy's recent role in responding to various worldwide events and promoting the interests of the UK and her allies.

Royal Navy ships have conducted a variety of notable operations during the last two weeks, showing the depth and breadth of the skills and capabilities of its men, women and equipment.

HMS Manchester was first on the scene in St Lucia providing vital humanitarian aid in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Tomas.

HMS Cornwall saved lives in the Mediterranean during a search and rescue mission.

In two separate incidents, HMS Montrose and Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel Fort Victoria successfully intercepted pirates in the Indian Ocean, thus protecting important shipping routes.

Finally, HMS Daring joined the USS Enterprise carrier task group and showcased the capacity of the Type 45 destroyer to protect valuable assets such as the aircraft carrier.

General Richards said:

The Royal Navy’s role in responding to events worldwide promotes the interests of the UK and her allies.

Assisting St Lucians facing natural disaster and keeping the waters of the Indian Ocean safe for the world’s merchant fleets is all part of securing alliances, trade and influence for Britain.

The Royal Navy’s men and women reflect the spirit, flair and commitment which is the hallmark of the British Armed Forces.

Portsmouth-based Type 42 destroyer HMS Manchester provided immediate support to those areas of St Lucia in the Caribbean hit by Hurricane Tomas.

Operating from the ship and ashore at Soufriere, the ship’s teams concentrated on providing essential electricity, water and food to the stranded people of the remote village of Morne Fond St Jacques on the slopes of the Soufriere volcano.

HMS Manchester also provided assistance, through the use of the ship’s Lynx helicopter, to the Turks and Caicos Islands authorities after Hurricane Tomas hit the island archipelago on Saturday 6 November.

Plymouth-based Type 22 frigate HMS Cornwall, en route to the Indian Ocean to conduct anti-piracy operations, rescued five survivors from a sinking inflatable boat in the Mediterranean. She was conducting routine flying operations off the Algerian coast when the five survivors were spotted and rescued.

Plymouth-based Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose conducted a high speed rescue of the terrified crew of German merchant ship ‘Beluga Fortune’. The merchant ship came under pirate attack and part of the ship was set on fire.

RFA Fort Victoria apprehended suspected pirates operating off the Somali coast using her team of Royal Marines boarding specialists and her Merlin helicopter from 820 Naval Air Squadron.

Portsmouth-based Type 45 destroyer HMS Daring spent most of October working with the United States aircraft carrier USS Enterprise off the Eastern Seaboard of the USA proving that the Type 45’s weapon systems and sensors can be integrated with those of the Royal Navy’s closest ally. As well as conducting a very extensive sea training programme, Daring also hosted visits by the US Navy and Coast Guard.