Latest News sub banner

 

Items from The News, Navy News and Warship World are reproduced by kind permission of David Brown, Sarah Fletcher and Steve Bush respectively.  Click on the thumbnails to enlarge them.


AN EXTREMELY IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT TO ALL MCDOA MEMBERS


 

If you have not received an email about this, it is because of imperfections in our membership database which this initiative should address.

 

From Lt Cdr Alasdair Magill:

 

MCDOA MEMBERSHIP TRANSFORMATION

 

I am writing to you to inform you of the essential changes to our current membership system, this letter is for information only.  You do not need to take any action yet.

 

You should have received an earlier email from the Honorary Secretary on the 14 Nov 19 providing an update on the major points of interest from the last Committee Meeting.  In particular, Item 5 referred to our Membership. In short, our current system is unsustainable and fails to comply with changes to law on how personal data is captured and held.  I therefore proposed moving the Association to an electronic membership system at the AGM Nov 19, which was unanimously supported.

 

I am very pleased to say that we are now ready to move forward with this initiative and place the management and currency of your information back into your hands.  We have selected the host for our new on-line membership database. and we will promulgate those details once finalised.  Entirely GDPR compliant, once logged in you will be able to see the information the club holds on you and amend it as necessary; it is also compatible with numerous electronic payment methods for collection of Direct Debits (DD).

 

The company utilises strong encryption to keep your data safe and are leading providers for club membership management and DD collection.  This service comes at a fixed fee per year for their service which will be subsumed within existing membership fees.  This will include continued free membership for those over 75 and Honorary members.

 

Transition to the new membership system will require all existing members to re-apply and set up their accounts.  While I recognise that this is additional personal administration, it is the only reliable way for us to move forward and remain relevant as an association.  Provision will be made for those who will require assistance to do this.

 

While the Treasurer will be able to cancel existing DD, individuals will be required to cancel their Standing Orders once they have created their new account.  On-Line membership offers us a step change in our ability to function as an association.  Not only will this enable us to store your data in a GDPR-compliant way, but it will also allow us to create up to date mailing lists, improving our ability to communicate planned events and pass on information bulletins and all things MCDOA with ease.

 

As a committee it is our aspiration to use this a vehicle to push more information to members and increase our social calendar beyond the mainstay of the Annual Dinner, ultimately improving our offer to members.   We are still formulating the roll-out schedule, however, it is our intention to have transferred to digital membership by the end of 2020.

 

I very much look forward to writing to you all again soon with further detail and our anticipated go-live date for electronic membership.  If you have any questions concerning the above changes, please contact any member of the committee.

 

Yours Aye,

 

Signed electronically

 

Alasdair Magill

 

Membership Secretary

MCDOA 

 

Please note that this year's AGM, Operational Updates and Dinner are now planned for Friday 27 November 2020

 


30 Jun 20 - Latest tweets

 

Click on the linked dates to see all associated photos and videos.

 

Cdr of the UK's Mine Counter Measures Squadron

 

29 Jun 2020 - MCM1 Squadron Staff joined by COMSUBFLOT and COB, welcomed HMS Ramsey back to HM Naval Base Clyde following her NATO MW COE deployment with SNMCMG1, conducting Historic Ordnance Disposal with our NATO colleagues.

 

22 Jun 2020 - Great to see personnel from the MCM1 Project WILTON team conducting training on future Maritime Autonomous MCM Systems from a sunny HM Naval Base Portsmouth on board HAZARD.  The new HARRIER boat is now also conducting sea trials.

 

Commander UK Mine Countermeasures Force (Bahrain)

 

27 Jun 2020 - The U.K. Mine Countermeasures Force would like to wish each and every single member of HM Armed Forces deployed around the globe a happy and safe Armed Forces Day 2020.

 

21 Jun 2020 - Following in your father’s footsteps.  Taken quite literally by some of the Royal Navy personnel deployed in the Middle East.  We wish all father figures a happy Father’s Day and a massive thank you for supporting us while we are away.

 

18 Jun 2020 - Dare to dream.  Let’s raise £4,000 for the Amelia Mae Foundation and RNRMC.  Donate via justgiving at https://bit.ly/3cX5mFz to support Amelia Mae Davis.

 

HMS Blyth (MCM1 Crew 2)

 

27 Jun 2020 - HMS Blyth is celebrating Armed Forces Day on deployment!  Thanks to all of the Sailors past and present who have served in her.

 

24 Jun 2020 - Good luck to HMS Shoreham!  Can they beat us back to the Mediterranean?  With your support they might just make it...

 

18 Jun 2020 - A short video of HMS Blyth's new 30mm showing just how versatile a Sandown Class MCM can be!

 

18 Jun 2020 - CARRY ON WITH THE SWIMMER!  Our Assistant Operations Officer tried his hand as the Swimmer of the Watch.

 

HMS Brocklesby (MCM2 Crew 6)

 

29 Jun 2020 - HMS Brocklesby Sailor of the Week: Engineering Technician Mitchell is seen here maintaining HMS Brocklesby's machinery.  Hard work like this ensures we are always ready for operations.

 

24 Jun 2020 - Join us on a virtual tour of HMS Brocklesby, a Royal Navy minehunter deployed to the Middle East.

 

HMS Cattistock (MCM2 Crew 6)

 

25 Jun 2020 - There's a storm brewing!

 

16 Jun 2020 - How many doughnuts can a single duty watch eat?  Or are these donuts?

 

HMS Chiddingfold (MCM2 Crew 3)

 

29 Jun 2020 - Another photo from our gunnery training the other day.  ‘Take surface contact green 50...’

 

28 Jun 2020 - Night time gunnery training from a few days ago.  ‘Flares fired, take air contact...’

 

27 Jun 2020 - It’s Armed Forces Day 2020 and we’ve just arrived alongside in Crete.  We’re on our way to the Gulf to conduct operations in the region to keep sea lanes open.

 

27 Jun 2020 - Who doesn’t love an equal speed manoeuvre on a Saturday Morning?

 

24 Jun 2020 - Alongside in Augusta.

 

23 Jun 2020 - Some of the highlights of the deployment since our last tweet: - gunnery training - co-ordinated manoeuvres - astro navigation training - the bread baked for the crew BBQ.

 

18 Jun 2020 - Bye Gibraltar.  We enjoyed our brief stay.

 

18 Jun 2020 - Co-ordinated training with HMS Penzance to keep our skills sharp!

 

16 Jun 2020 - Safely alongside in Gibraltar!

 

HMS Ledbury (MCM2 Crew 2)

 

27 Jun 2020 - HMS Ledbury is celebrating the hard work of our servicemen and women today on Armed Forces Day whilst forward deployed on Op KIPION.

 

HMS Middleton (MCM2 Crew 8)

 

29 Jun 2020 - HMS Middleton made a successful departure from HM Naval Base Portsmouth yesterday after a year in refit.  The embarked FOST and Cdr MCM staff enjoyed it so much they insisted on staying the night.

 

Stephen Morgan MP

 

28 Jun 2020 - Good to see HMS Middleton leaving HM Naval Base Portsmouth this morning as she continues in the operational fleet for her fifth decade in Royal Navy service.

 

HMS Ramsey (MCM1 Crew 6)

 

27 Jun 2020 - To all regulars, reserves, veterans and cadets happy Armed Forces Day.  And to their families a special thank you for all that you do; separation is part of service life but something we all must deal with.

 

26 Jun 2020 - Crew 6 is now back home in Scotland.  It has been a busy and extremely rewarding 6 weeks working alongside our NATO allies and partners in the Baltic Sea.  Integration breeds strength.

 

Royal Navy

 

26 Jun 2020 - Welcome back to Scotland HMS Ramsey.  The minehunter returned to HM Naval Base Clyde this morning after a successful deployment with NATO in the Baltic Sea

 

22 Jun 2020 -  UK.  Lovely stretch of East Lothian coastline to conduct navigation training for the new officers.  Great shot passing Bass Rock.

 

21 Jun 2020 - Navigating Officer SLt McBride and Mine Warfare Specialist AB Street in the Kiel Canal on the way home from their Baltic deployment.  They will be eagerly cheering on the whites this afternoon.

 

19 Jun 2020 - And just like that we’re through the Kiel Canal and back in the North Sea.....

 

HMS Shoreham (MCM1 Crew 4)

 

27 Jun 2020 - HMS SHOREHAM as well as Service Men and Women from across UK Naval Support Facility Bahrain are celebrating Armed Forces Day today!

 

26 Jun 2020 - SHOOT!  Crew 4 hones their gunnery skills on the 30mm main gun!

 

23 Jun 2020 - Only one week to go before HMS Shoreham stretches her legs battling HMS Blyth to the Mediterranean.  Only 1,500 miles to go!

 

MASTT (Maritime Autonomous Systems Trials Team commanded by MCDOA member Dave Stanbury)

 

23 Jun 2020 - Salute Our Forces is a simple way for anyone to pay tribute to the British Armed Forces community for their hard work, dedication and efforts to and keep us safe in the UK and across the globe.

 

Fleet Diving Squadron

 

30 Jun 2020 - EOD experts from SDU1 safely removed ordnance from a location in Brixham assisting Devon & Cornwall Police.  The ordnance was safely disposed of by controlled explosion.  FDS remain ready to support our Emergency Services 24/7/365.

 


18 Jun 20 - WW2 ammunition uncovered on the beach at Southport

 

The On The Spot News website contains this article reporting the discovery of ordnance at Southport. 

 

"A metal detectorist has made the discovery of a lifetime on Southport beach today, Thursday 18 June 2020..."

 

Surprisingly, the Fleet Diving Squadron was not tasked to deal with it.

 


17 Jun 20 - HMS Chiddingfold and HMS Penzance participate in exercises off Gibraltar

 

The GBC website contains this article reporting that HMS Chiddingfold (MCM2 Crew 3) and HMS Penzance (MCM1 Crew 3) are due to exercise with HMS Sabre and two Pacific 24 RHIBs tomorrow on departing Gibraltar to continue their passage to the Gulf. 

 


15 Jun 20 - Latest tweets

 

Click on the linked dates to see all associated photos and videos.  

 

Commander UK Mine Countermeasures Force (Bahrain)

 

12 Jun 2020 - Taking care of business.  Practising the removal of underwater threats to merchant traffic is crucial to ensuring we are ready to protect the free flow of commerce.

 

11 Jun 2020 - Her looks can be deceiving.  Happy birthday to the longest serving ship in the Royal Navy!  39 years after commissioning, HMS Ledbury is as busy as she has ever been, on mine countermeasure duties in the Arabian Gulf.

 

6 Jun 2020 - You have the Con.  Only a week after taking Command and Commander Talbot and his team are already a few days into their first exercise as COMUKMCMFOR.  A huge BZ to Commander Griffiths and his staff for a successful 6 months.

 

 Cdr of the UKs Mine Counter Measure Squadron (UK)

 

6 Jun 2020 - The UK MCM force maintains it watch.  Well done Cdr Griffiths and Red Watch, fair winds Cdr Talbot and White Watch.

 

NATO Maritime Command

 

15 Jun 2020 - Today Romania hands over command of Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 to Greece.  For the first time in history Romania led a NATO Naval group, and we commend them on their success, even when COVID-19 made the deployment very challenging.

 

COM SNMCMG2 (Cdr Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2)

 

2 Jun 2020 - COMSNMCMG2 wishes to thank to Lt.Cdr. Evren Onur Unat and his crew from TCG ANAMUR, for their commintment in the group that provided in a moment of severe risk posed by COVID-19 pandemic, the opportunity to consolidate our state of readiness.  Fair winds and following seas!

 

HMS Blyth (MCM1 Crew 2)

 

1 Jun 20 - Dusk. HMS Blyth recently conducted a pilotage into Bahrain in company with HMS Ledbury.

 

1 Jun 2020 - HMS Blyth recently conducted a pilotage into Bahrain in company with HMS Ledbury.

 

HMS Brocklesby (MCM2 Crew 5)

 

Commander UK Mine Countermeasures Force

 

8 Jun 2020 - Everyone loves hide and seek.  As it happens, a picture from HMS BROCKLESBY lowering a drill mine for their counterparts to try and find.

 

3 Jun 2020 - As an island nation, our prosperity and security is dependent on our ability to access the sea.  HMS Brocklesby, as part of COMUKMCMFOR, has just completed a mine clearance exercise with our US Allies US 5th Fleet ensuring that we are always ready to keep our trade routes open.

 

HMS Cattistock (MCM2 Crew 6/1)

 

4 Jun 2020 - That's Crew 6 Mavericks all ready for Operations having handed HMS Cattistock to MCM2 Crew 1.  If you want to keep following our story, give HMS Brocklesby a follow.  We'll see you in a few weeks (somewhere a bit hotter).

 

3 Jun 2020 - FLASH UPDATE.  Don’t miss out on our Virtual Families Day today over on our closed Facebook group for those relatives of the Crew 6 Mavericks.  Timely updates including tours, exercises and maybe even a live stream.  See you there!

 

HMS Chiddingfold (MCM2 Crew 3)

 

15 Jun 2020 - Some of the highlights of our week since deploying: - gunnery and sea safety training - church (church pennant hoisted) - stunning sunrises - hands to bathe.

 

Navy Lookout

 

15 Jun 2020 - HMS Chiddingfold joins HMS Penzance in Gibraltar today - both on their way to the Gulf.

 

MOD Gibraltar

 

15 Jun 2020 - Welcome to Gibraltar!  HMS Penzance & HMS Chiddingfold for routine logistics support before deploying to the Middle East on Op KIPION.

 

11 Jun 2020 - Initial attack on the scene... Training to fight fires is something we do throughout our careers at sea.  To stay safe our skills need to be sharp.

 

GJLbirdsnboats

 

11 Jun 2020 - HMS Chiddingfold anchored in Torbay en route from HMNB Portsmouth to the Gulf for 3 years. Good luck and hope you enjoyed your stay in Torbay despite the rough weather.

 

10 Jun 2020 - And we’re off...

 

Captain David George

 

10 Jun 2020 - A tight departure, beautifully executed - and off HMS Chiddingfold goes on her c.6,000 mile journey to the Arabian Gulf.  Fair Winds!

 

10 Jun 2020 - We deploy to the Gulf today!  Sailing past round tower at 1100.  As well as high tech mine hunting equipment we also have on board: -140kg of washing powder -1696 toilet rolls -100lt of washing up liquid -500 sausages.

 

 Hampshire Live

 

10 Jun 2020 - 'I've got a fantastic group of sailors' - We've been hearing from Lieutenant Commander Tom Harrison of HMS Chiddingfold.

 

9 Jun 2020 - We are as ready as we can be for our deployment.  And so are our families.  Thank you to Aggie Weston's for producing our recorded bedtime stories for our children to listen to while we are away.  Great stuff!

 

Cdr of the UKs Mine Counter Measure Squadron

 

9 Jun 2020 -  Commodore Wood giving final orders and a few BZs to HMS Chiddingfold before she deploys.  If you want to see her for the last time in UK waters for a while, socially distanced Southsea beach just after 1100 tomorrow.

 

8 Jun 2020 - Last minute prep today includes embarking mess improvements.  Thank you RNRMC!  These items will make a big difference to the welfare of our sailors.

 

8 Jun 2020 - Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.  And cap!

 

7 Jun 2020 - This is us!  We deploy to the Gulf this week.  Join us for the journey...

 

4 Jun 2020 - Let’s take a look back to last November - ship’s company took part in the Remembrance Day service in our affiliated village Chiddingfold, Surrey.  It was a wonderful day to be a part of.

 

3 Jun 2020 - Final preparations for deploying continue - vital stores are being embarked.  Ship’s company have been working closely with support organisations to make sure we have everything we need.

 

2 Jun 2020 - ‘Attention on the upper deck...’  Today we dress ship for the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.  It’s nice to put on something special to mark the occasion.

 

1 Jun 2020 - It’s not all cutting about the ocean blue with a knife between your teeth!  A well run ship has well run logs.  Each department has administrative duties which keep us safe, ready to fight and make sure we look after our people properly.

 

HMS Middleton (MCM2 Crew 8)

 

WO1 Mick Turnbull MA Royal Navy

 

10 Jun 2020 - Many thanks to the CO and Crew of HMS Middleton for hosting the Fleet Commander’s visit today.  Also, congratulations to Capt Fryer, Cdr Cox and the COs of MCM2 for the award of the Cmd Pin.

 

Warrant Officer to the Royal Navy

 

9 Jun 2020 - Today my mid-morning coffee was with HMS Middleton.  BZ to the ships company...keep up the excellent work.

 

HMS Pembroke (MCM1 Crew 5)

 

10 Jun 2020 - Small break in our FOST training to conduct a stores transfer with HMS Grimsby in an undisclosed location.  Look carefully and you may spot a gatecrasher from RNAS Culdrose...

 

10 Jun 2020 - Thanks to the Captain of HMS Grimsby for our new profile picture.

 

HMS Penzance (MCM1 Crew 3)

 

Navy Lookout

 

14 Jun 2020 - HMS Penzance arrives in Gibraltar this afternoon.

 

8 Jun 2020 - A minehunter on the horizon with RFA Fort Victoria and HMS Northumberland at anchor in Plymouth Sound this morning.

 

RN in Scotland

 

5 Jun 2020 - Bon voyage to HMS Penzance who left HM Naval Base Clyde today for Gulf deployment along with MCM1 Crew 3.

 

HMS Ramsey (MCM1 Crew 6)

 

Navy Lookout

 

8 Jun 2020 - HMS Ramsey serving with SNMCMG1 in Klaipeda, Lithuania - now joined BALTOPS exercise.

 

4 Jun 2020 - All in a day’s work for our dive team on operations with NATO.

 

COM SNMCMG1 (Cdr Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1)

 

4 Jun 2020 - SNMCMG1 and SNMG1 will participate in BALTOPS 2020, the premier maritime-focused exercise in the Baltic Sea.

 

3 Jun 2020 - This was our view of yesterday’s manoeuvres!  Integration at its best.

 

A516DON

 

2 Jun 2020 - These are the special moments you will never forget in your career!  Thank you HMS RAMSEY for the outstanding performance after the seamanship exercises!  We had goosebumps!

 

COM SNMCMG1 (Cdr Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1)

 

2 Jun 2020 - AUF WIEDERSEHEN!  Chaplain Krahnert left after 7 weeks in our team.  It has been a pleasure having you in aboard in these times of pandemic, challenges and uncertainties both at home and at sea.  Your presence, conversations and support is appreciated by us all.  Fair winds!

 

1 Jun 2020 - SNMCMG1 conducted a short logistical stop to Klaipeda, Lithuania earlier last week, and carried out pre-handover meetings with the upcoming staff of SNMCMG1.  The Lithuanian staff, led by CDR s.g Venckūnas will take over our duties during the summer.

 

HMS Shoreham (MCM1 Crew 4)

 

3 Jun 2020 - HMS Shoreham this week removed both her anchors and over 400m of anchor cable for some much needed care and attention as she works through a period of maintenance, ensuring she is ready and capable to help provide the Royal Navy's year round support to the Gulf.

 

Fleet Diving Squadron

 

10 Jun 2020 - EOD experts from SDU1 safely removed ordnance from a location in Widecome assisting the Devon & Cornwall Police.  The ordnance was safely disposed of by controlled explosion.  FDS remain ready to support our Emergency Services 24/7/365.

 

9 Jun 2020 -  EOD experts from SDU2 safely removed ordnance from a location in Selsey assisting HM Coastguard Selsey.  The ordnance was safely disposed of by controlled explosion.  FDS remain ready to support our Emergency Services 24/7/365.

 


14 Jun 20 - NDG tasked to deal with 'ordnance' at Wemyss Bay

 

The Inverclyde Now website contains this article reporting that members of Faslane-based Northern Diving Group (NDG) identified a suspect torpedo at Wemyss Bay on the Firth of Clyde as part of a boat.

 


13 Jun 20 - Telegraph obituary for Vice Adm Sir John Coward KCB DSO

 

Capt Peter Hore RN, the Telegraph's naval obituary writer, has been kind enough to write tributes to many members of our community.  His obituary for Vice Adm Sir John Coward appeared in the Telegraph on 10 June and MCDOA member John Staveley has reminded me that Sir John had particular significance for the MCDOA because he was the Guest of Honour at the Association's first annual dinner in November 1992.  MCDOA member Geoff Goodwin was the Commander of HMS DOLPHIN at the time.

 

 


12 Jun 20 - Married couple ‘first in UK’ to be sentenced for possessing chemical weapon

 

The Express & Star website contains this article reporting that a married couple who dumped World War Two Mustard Gas canisters in a lake have been sentenced for possessing a chemical weapon after what is thought to be the first such prosecution in the UK:

 

"Military enthusiast Martyn Tasker was jailed for five years after the discovery of 16 abandoned canisters at a former RAF based used in the Second World War – as well as a separate charged of possessing two Bren machine guns.  His wife Michaela Tasker and friend Stuart Holmes were spared jail for their part in helping to dispose of the canisters after receiving suspended sentences at Nottingham Crown Court on Friday..."

 

LS(D) Matt O'Brien of Portsmouth-based Southern Diving Unit 2 (SDU2) was subsequently awarded a Queen's Commendation for Bravery for his involvement in the eight-day operation.  For the full history of this incident, see the entries for 9 Oct 17 and 18 Oct 17 in News Archive 60, 23 Nov 18 in News Archive 64 and 29 Jul 19 in News Archive 67.

 

LS(D) Matt O'Brien

 


11 Jun 20 - Happy Birthday HMS Ledbury

 

The Royal Navy website contains this article congratulating HMS Ledbury (MCM2 Crew 2) on her 39th birthday.  This makes her Britain’s oldest front-line warship.

 


1 Jun 20 - Vernon Monument features in latest issue of Warships IFR

 

I am grateful to Capt Peter Hore RN, who normally writes the naval obituaries in the Telegraph, for a feature about the MCDOA-adopted Vernon Mine Warfare & Diving Monument in the latest issue of Warships IFR (International Fleet Review). 

 

 

 

The magazine contains several other articles of interest to the RN mine warfare & diving community.

 


30 May 20 -  Latest tweets

 

Click on the linked dates to see all associated photos and videos.  

 

COM SNMCMG2 (Cdr Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2)

 

20 May 2020 - SNMCMG2 interaction with Turkish Navy was a great opportunity to maintain and develope warfighting proficiencies and improve Allied's combined maritime skills and readiness for maritime security by MCM operations, manoeuvering, search and rescue and replanishment at sea.

 

HMS Blyth (MCM1 Crew 2)

 

20 May 2020 - A recent photo of HMS Blyth sailing from Bahrain to conduct some unit level training.

 

HMS Cattistock (MCM2 Crew 6)

 

21 May 2020 - Time to recognise some hard work!  The nominations for Sailor of the Term are...

 

AB Trent for being a 30mm Hero

LCIS Halliwell for MCO Excellence

PO Klein for Mine Clearance Hero

LS Casswell for Wholeship Legend

And the winner is.... LS CASSWELL!!!! BZ!!

 

17 May 2020 - And we're home, just in time for Sunday Lunch.  Nice drive home via the Needles.

 

Navy Lookout

 

17 May 2020 - HMS Cattistock returns to Portsmouth after a successful Operational Sea Training period around Plymouth and in Scotland.

 

16 May 2020 - Thanks for following our OST.  THE SAFEGUARD RULE IS NO LONGER IN FORCE.  We are heading home...

 

HMS Chiddingfold (MCM2 Crew 3)

 

28 May 2020 - Final preparations to deploy continue with some basic sea safety exercises.  Here’s our swimmer of the watch rescuing a rather relaxed man-overboard.

 

Amy Savage

 

28 May 2020 - Afternoon.  HMS Chiddingfold [entering Portsmouth].

 

27 May 2020 - Stunning sunset at sea this evening.

 

27 May 2020 - This week we’re at sea conducting final preparations for deploying - this includes qualifying new members of the team to fire our weapons systems.  Practice = Precision = Protection.

 

26 May 2020 - ‘You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.’ Michael Jordan.  There’s a gap there somewhere.  It’s great to be back at sea!

 

Amy Savage

 

26 May 2020 - Afternoon.  HMS Chiddingfold [leaving Portsmouth].  Waited this morning at the Saluting Platform but another phot from home will have to do.

 

HMS Grimsby (MCM1 Crew 1)

 

21 May 2020 - A lot of great training this week at sea, managed to smash in some gunnery.

 

19 May 2020 - ETME Shepherd checking to make sure our pre wet works... It does!

 

HMS Hurworth (MCM2 Crew 7)

 

Navy Lookout

 

20 May 2020 - HMS Hurworth has begun major refit in Portsmouth and will be next Hunt class to receive Caterpillar C32 ACERT diesel engines, ORCA system and various other upgrades.

 

HMS Ramsey (MCM1 Crew 6)

 

COM SNMCMG1 (Cdr Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1)

 

30 May 2020 - SNMCMG1 just concluded a 9-day joint training period together with our professional allies in Estonia. The training period enhanced allied interoperability and NATOs situational awareness in the Eastern Baltic Sea.

 

28 May 2020 - An honour to be welcomed by Commander Lithuanian Navy, RADM Arūnas Mockus and CDR s.g Audrius Venckūnas in Klaipeda, Lithuania.  Extra glad by the fact that Lithuania and CDR s.g. Venckūnas will take over my duty as COM SNMCMG1 during the summer.

 

NATO Maritime Command

 

28 May 2020 - Our Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 has concluded a several-day joint training programme with the Estonian forces probing an area of 44 sq nautical miles, neutralizing 3 historic mines and bringing together 4 Allies.

 

 COM SNMCMG1 (Cdr Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1)

 

27 May 2020 - SNMCMG1 and Allies remain ready and vigilant.  This picture was taken on Monday somewhere in the eastern Baltic Sea, while 7 units from 4 nations gathered for joint exercises with Estonian Defence Forces.

 

26 May 2020 - Honoured to meet Cheif Estonian Defence Forces, MajGen Herem and Chief of Navy, CDRE Saska, at sea during joint training between Estonian Armed Forces and SNMCMG1.  Thanks for the opportunity to train together and enhance interoperability, even in these challenging times!

 

20 May 2020 - Quick logistics stop with our NATO partner.

 

Navy Lookout

 

20 May 2020 - HMS Ramsey has now joined SNMCMG1 currently en route to exercises in Estonia. 

 

19 May 2020 - We are NATO.  Stronger together.

 

COM SNMCMG1 (Cdr Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1)

 

19 May 2020 - FGS Fulda finished her 4 months deployment in the Mediterranean Sea with COM SNMCMG1 and is now under our command.  That’s what I call endurance.  Proud of allied efforts during these demanding times.  Feels great to integrate your experienced crew to our team!

 

HMS Shoreham (MCM1 Crew )

 

28 May 2020 - Run! Row! Cycle!  HMS Shoreham will soon be racing HMS Blyth to the Mediterranean.  They'll sail, we'll run, cycle, row the almost 1,500 miles equivalent distance to raise funds for RNRMC.  If you'd like to donate follow the link: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rory-hill1.

 

Fleet Diving Squadron

 

29 May 2020 - We recently received our new EOD Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) called 'STARTER'.  'STARTER' will provide an improved EOD search and disrupt capability for our Diving Units.  Handover is ongoing with our current EOD ROV 'CUTLASS'.

 

28 May 2020 - EOD experts from SDU2 safely removed ordnance from a location in Bracklesham.  The ordnance was safely disposed of by controlled explosion.  FDS remain ready to support our Emergency Services 24/7/365

 

25 May 2020 - How do you move a mine off the seabed?  With the Enclosed Mine Lifting Bag of course.  This clever bit of kit is attached to the object by one of these divers from Northern Diving Group.  When initiated by the diver the bag lifts it effortlessly to the surface.

 

24 May 2020 - EOD experts from SDU1 safely removed ordnance from a location in Dartmoor on Friday.  The ordnance was safely disposed of by controlled explosion.  FDS remain ready to support our Emergency Services 24/7/365.

 

22 May 2020 - EOD experts from SDU2 safely removed ordnance from a location in Brighton earlier this week.  The ordnance was safely disposed of by controlled explosion.  FDS remain ready to support our Emergency Services 24/7/365.

 

20 May 2020 - EOD experts from SDU2 safely removed ordnance from a location in Southsea yesterday.  The ordnance was safely disposed of by controlled explosion.  FDS remain ready to support our Emergency Services 24/7/365.

 

Royal Canadian Navy

 

26 May 2020 - Without a doubt, this is the best job I’ve ever had - Lt(N) Kevin Okihiro shares his experience as a Navy Clearance Diver posted with the Royal Navy's Fleet Diving Squadron.  

 


15 May 20 -  Latest tweets

 

Click on the linked dates to see all associated photos and videos.  

 

COM SNMCMG1 (Cdr Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1)

 

14 May 2020 - SNMG1 visiting the Open Spirit Historical Mine Clearance Operation in the Baltic Sea, conducting joint training with navy vessels from NATO allied Latvia and COM SNMCMG1.

 

HMS Blyth (MCM1 Crew 2)

 

8 May 2020 - A message from MCM1 Crew 2 currently deployed on Operation Kipion in HMS Blyth.

 

8 May 2020 - Crew 2 successfully completed our Lift The Ship Challenge!  After lifting HMS Blyth we decided that we’d keep on going until we’d lifted HMS Ledbury.  So far we’ve raised £2185!  There’s still time to donate to Kilbryde Hospice, RNRMC and St Oswalds UK.

 

8 May 2020 - Here are our top three lifters!  BZ to AB(MW) Kirkman who lifted an incredible 83,070Kg!  Many thanks to LET(ME) McGill for organising the event.  Links to our JustGiving pages can be found in our pinned tweet.

 

6 May 2020 - We’ve broken £1,250!  Thank you for all of the donations so far!  Tomorrow is the big day!  Crew 2 are ready for Lift The Ship.  Tere is still time to donate.  Links in our pinned tweet.

 

6 May 2020 - So far we’ve raised £1,045!  Can we break £1200?  ET(ME) Dunster gets in some last minute reps in preparation for Lift The Ship.  Links to our JustGiving in our pinned tweet.

 

5 May 2020 - 40 Crew vs 570,000 kg!  Our Senior AB Diver is ready for Lift The Ship!  Crew 2 goes for it on the 7th of May.  This is all in aid of some great causes.  To donate, please find the links in our pinned tweet.

 

4 May 2020 - Training continues for Lift The Ship.  Please continue to make donations to our JustGiving pages!  Links in our pinned tweet.

 

www.justgiving.com/fundraising/crew-2-kilbryde-hospice

 

www.justgiving.com/fundraising/crew-2-rnrmc

 

www.justgiving.com/fundraising/crew-2-st-oswalds

 

HMS Cattistock (MCM2 Crew 6)

 

14 May 2020 - BOOM!!  And just like that OST is complete.  Sort out the Gingerian force.  Sort out the Mustardian force.  Blow stuff up!

 

14 May 2020 - Admittedly didn't look like much, but honestly, it was like this...

 

14 May 2020 - The sun has risen, time for our Final Inspection!  Hosting the Command Task Group as we 'dispose' of the last mines.

 

13 May 2020 - Find some mines..?!  Nailed it.  Looking proud he’s found them or just keeping warm?  It is pretty chilly out I suppose.

 

11 May 2020 - After a quick stand-down we're back out to finish the job.  Last time we found the mines, now we've been told to clear them up.

 

9 May 2020 - New tasking.  Clear the harbour from 'Mustardian' Mines.  Air threat increasing.  Credible surface threat.  Everyone on edge (well almost... some are distracted by the STUNNING Scottish Landscape!

 

8 May 2020 - Still finding mines and protecting Brownia whilst we also mark VE 75 at sea.  Counting down to Shine A Light (hopefully it won't give our position away to the Mustardians.

 

8 May 2020 - Shine A Light.  VE 75.  Morse Code.

 

8 May 2020 - Shine A Light.

 

Navy Lookout

 

9 May 2020 - Royal Navy vessels Shine A Light for VE Day 75 last night.  HMS Severn, HMS Cattistock, HMS Forth.

 

7 May 2020 - If you're wondering what we’ve been up to in phase 2?  Mine Warfare!  Clearing routes, Finding Mines, Diving and using Autonomous Vehicles all at the blistering pace of 3.37 feet per second!!! (2kts).

 

5 May 2020 - The calm before the storm.

 

4 May 2020 - Final preps getting ready for phase 2.  Getting the divers deep.  Unfortunately for them they miss all the sunshine - it starts getting dark beyond around 30m down.

 

3 May 2020 - “Freeport” coastal defence consists of many things - Warships, a harbour master and Sharks.  Yes you heard me right, Sharks.

 

HMS Chiddingfold (MCM2 Crew 1/3)

 

14 May 2020 - Hello from Crew 3!  Our handover is now complete.  Keep following as we deploy in our fine ship this summer.

 

13 May 2020 - Folks that's it from Crew 1 in Chiddingfold for the time being, but we'll be back.  We leave you in the capable hands of Crew 3, most recently of HMS Hurworth fame.  To keep up with us, follow HMS Cattistock.  Stay safe xoxo.

 

HMS Grimsby (MCM1 Crew 1)

 

12 May 2020 - We are delighted to announce that we will be entering a team for Ben’s challenge to walk/run/row/cycle from Loughborough to Istanbul to raise both money and awareness for suicide prevention in young people, a story very close to our hearts.  Click the link below to find out more.

 

www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/loughborough2istanbul

 

HMS Hurworth (MCM2 Crew 7)

 

6 May 2020 - After some pretty uncomfortable weather over the last few days, we now have sunshine and calm seas.  The storm always passes in the end.

 

4 May 2020 - A simply stunning evening...

 

HMS Ledbury (MCM2 Crew 2)

 

11 May 2020 - The Royal Navy and British Army working together on Ex Grenadier Hunt practicing mutual Force Protection and Battle Damage Repair to enhance inter-service operability whilst deployed on OP KIPION.

 

8 May 2020 - 75 years ago today, the nation came together to celebrate as peace returned to Europe.  We remember the courage, service and sacrifice of those who fought so hard.  The technology may have changed, the pride and capability hasn’t.

 

6 May 2020 - After a short maintenance period, HMS Ledbury ensures her crew and weapons systems are on target by conducting a routine 30MM shoot with AB(MW) Lamb in the seat.

 

HMS Middleton (MCM2 Crew 8)

 

12 May 2020 - Congratulations to our Bosun PO(MW) Matthew Staunton on receiving the Herbert Lott Efficiency Award for his outstanding efforts in supporting not only Crew 8 but the wider MCM2 community.

 

HMS Pembroke (MCM1 Crew 5)

 

14 May 2020 - There’s nothing like your first promotion!  BZ to ET(ME)1 Daz Hill who picked up his first at today’s, social distanced and al fresco Captain’s Requestmen.  Not a bad backdrop, either.

 

9 May 2020 - Shine A Light for VE Day 75.

 

8 May 2020 - Proud to join in along with HMS Grimsby, HMS Ramsey, 43 Commando, HMS Raider and the MOD Police. This is what it looked like from our stern. This evening we will continue to commemorate VE Day 75 as we Shine A Light.

 

7 May 2020 - BZ NHS.  Clap For Carers.

 

HMS Ramsey (MCM1 Crew 6)

 

12 May 2020 - Up early to catch the tide, good morning Isle of Skye.

 

HMS Shoreham (MCM1 Crew 4)

 

8 May 2020 - Ships currently alongside the United Kingdom Naval Support Facility in Bahrain joining vessels around the world in celebrating VE Day 75.  We all thank the greatest generation for their resilience, determination and sacrifice.

 

Fleet Diving Squadron

 

14 May 2020 - Earlier this week EOD experts from SDU1 safely removed ordnance from a location in South Zeal  The ordnance was safely disposed of by controlled explosion.  FDS remain ready to support our Emergency Services 24/7/365

 

13 May 2020 - RN EOD experts from SDG have responded to several tasks this week.  Assisting Emergency Services in Penarwyn, Exeter, Saltash, Brighton and Lancing.  FDS remain ready to support our Emergency services 24/7/365.

 

11 May 2020 - On this Day: PO(D) Toby Jones was awarded a Queen's Commendation for Bravery.  Awarded for displaying true bravery onboard HMS CLYDE on 17 May 17.  He rescued a fellow crew member by providing him with his own air supply in a selfless act.

 

8 May 2020 - Today marks the 75th Anniversary of VE Day.  We remember all those who gave their tomorrow for our today, particularly the RN Clearance Divers who made the ultimate sacrifice.

 

7 May 2020 - RN EOD experts from Southern Diving Unit 2 assisted Emergency Services in Bracklesham yesterday.  Ordnance was safely disposed of by controlled explosion.  FDS remain ready to support our Emergency Services 24/7/365.

 

6 May 2020 - RN EOD experts from Northern Diving Group supported Emergency Services yesterday in Portpatrick.  The ordnance was disposed of by controlled explosion.  We remain ready to support our Emergency Services 24/7/365.

 

2 May 2020 - Bomb Disposal experts from Northern Diving Group assisted Police Scotland this week in Lockerbie.  The ordnance was safely disposed of by controlled explosion.

 

HM Naval Base Portsmouth

 

12 May 2020 - A mortar bomb found on a construction site in Brighton yesterday was destroyed where it lay by a 4-man EOD team from Southern Diving Unit 2, based here in Portsmouth.  Follow the work of the Royal Navy's Fleet Diving Squadron, they're fairly new to Twitter but having a blast.

 


14 May 20 - Soapy Watson earns his brass hat

 

 

Hearty congratulations to MCDOA member Richard Watson (aka 'Soapy') on being selected for promotion to A/Cdr RNR with effect from 5 Sep 2020 when he is due to take charge of all Maritime Reserves diving. 

 

Soapy, who left the RN as a Lt Cdr before joining the RNR, has single-handedly raised hundreds of pounds for Project Vernon in sponsored events including a 24-hour kayak marathon on Horsea Lake, competing in the Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race on the Thames (twice), swimming around Portsea Island and swimming the length of Windermere. 

 

I am sure everyone in our community will join me in wishing him well in his new appointment.  I daresay Soapy's son Ben, a capped RN rugby player, is a touch proud too.

 

 


7 May 20 - Latest promotions

 

Hearty congratulations to MCDOA members Kevin Stockton, Sean 'Central' Heaton, David 'Stretch' Armstrong and Damian 'Slatts' Slattery on being selected for promotion to Cdr RN on today's signal.

 

Kev Stockton in January 2015 receiving Fleet Commendation from Vice Admiral

Sir Philip Jones, Fleet Commander, in recognition of his exceptional leadership

as Commanding Officer of the Fleet Diving Group (FDG)

 

Sean 'Central' Heaton when deployed as EOD Cdr, along with IEDD teams from FDU2,

during Exercise NORTHERN CHALLENGE in Iceland in October 2016

 


31 Apr 20 - Latest tweets

 

Click on the linked dates to see all associated photos and videos.  

 

COMUKMCMFOR (Commander UK MCM Force in the Gulf)

 

24 Apr 2020 - Cat by name, cat by nature.  The Wildcat crew embarked on HMS MONTROSE is ready to pounce night or day, to protect our national interests.  They are currently supporting our US/UK Mine Counter Measures Exercise in the Gulf.

 

23 Apr 2020 - It takes all kinds of vessels to make a successful harbour departure happen.  The Royal Navy is always grateful to work with our friends in the US 5th Fleet who accompanied HMS Soreham and HMS Brocklesby in preparation for our Joint Mine Counter Measures Exercise.

 

22 Apr 2020 - And we’re off!  HMS Brocklesby set sail this morning to join other ships already deployed for this month’s US/UK Joint Mine Counter Measures Exercise in the Gulf.

 

22 Apr 2020 - This week, HMS Shoreham conducted whole ship training in preparation for our exciting upcoming US/UK Joint Mine Counter Measures Exercise in the Gulf.  “Fire Fighter, fight the fire!”

 

HMS Blyth (MCM1 Crew 2)

 

30 Apr 2020 - Crew 2 will attempt to lift HMS Blyth on 7 May!  Each Crew member will lift their share of 570,000kg to raise money for three charities important to Crew 2 & HMS Blyth.  We’ll update you on our training via Twitter.  Please donate! Links in the thread below.

 

30 Apr 2020 - HMS Blyth would like to thank RNRMC for providing Crew 2 with the funds to treat ourselves to a Pizza Night onboard!  Thank you for your continued support!

 

28 Apr 2020 - HMS Blyth remembers all of the key workers who have died during the Coronavirus outbreak. Lieutenant Black leads the tribute while his fiancé continues the fight against COVID-19 on the frontline with the NHS.

 

24 Apr 2020 - Hello to everyone at home!  Diver Baker gives the camera a wave as he conducts a routine hull swim of HMS Blyth.  Let’s see your waves HMS Brocklesby, HMS Ledbury and HMS Shoreham.  What about your swimmers of the watch HMS Montrose and HMS Argyll?

 

22 Apr 2020 - Yesterday, HMS Blyth wished Her Majesty the Queen a Happy Birthday by dressing ship!

 

17 Apr 2020 - HMS Blyth's Operations Officer completes his pre-dive checks before proceeding on a routine training deep dive!  HMS Blyth is currently deployed to the Gulf.

 

HMS Brocklesby (MCM2 Crew 5)

 

29 Apr 2020 - Congratulations to our shipmate ET Calter and his girlfriend Lauren on the birth of their new baby boy!  Sending best wishes from all on board HMS Brocklesby.

 

29 Apr 2020 - Despite the COVID pandemic, Royal Navy minehunters remain ready for anything.  HMS Brocklesby has been exercising with the US 5th Fleet in the Gulf, practising detection and disposal of dummy sea mines to keep vital trade routes open.

 

HMS Cattistock (MCM2 Crew 6)

 

30 Apr 22 - Thursdays only mean one thing - ‘War’ (MCM style of course) Action Stations, Fires, Floods and some ‘friendly’ Fighting...

 

29 Apr 2020 - If you’ve been wondering what we’ve been up to - I’ll just leave this here...

 

27 Apr 2020 - Back to it today, with defence against chemical attack, into some seamanship in the form of towing!  In light of HMS Tyne's life saving efforts this weekend, it’s crucial we are trained to deal with any form of MAYDAY.

 

26 Apr 2020 - Short logistics stop in Freeport (no chance of shore leave), so XO is trying his hand as a barber!  Navs is nervous, not as much as X though, the CO is up next!

 

25 Apr 2020 - How has your Saturday been?  We’re just over here protecting “Freeport” from an enemy “Ginger” vessel  Our Force Protection teams are always on alert.

 

23 Apr 2020 - In HMS Cattistock we’re not just mine hunters and bomb frogs, we do all kinds of Warfighting on Ship... just over here doing some winching, no biggie.

 

23 Apr 2020 - Don’t mind us... just off being the duty hero and providing assistance to a stricken “Brownian” vessel just outside “Freeport”.  Now where is the helo?

 

23 Apr 2020 - Rule of the Road exam for Warfare Officers including the CO and practicing securing to a buoy.  Now we are off to do some flying MCM style.  Happy St George’s Day - See you in a bit!

 

21 Apr 2020 - Sailing from "Freeport" to begin our Sea Phase of Operational Sea Training.  First up Navigation and Force Protection Training.  THE SAFEGUARD RULE IS NOW IN FORCE!!

  

21 Apr 2020 - Happy Birthday Ma'am!!  21st April is a special day.  Not only Her Majesty's Birthday but also the CO's Daughter's 4th Birthday today.  Happy Birthday to her and to all celebrating whilst a loved one is away.

 

20 Apr 2020 - MASC complete - We are SAFE TO TRAIN!!  Breakfast seems like a long time ago!  Now the hard work begins, sailing from Freeport tomorrow!

 

20 Apr 2020 - The time has come for our Material and Safety Check - going through the entire Ship with a fine tooth comb.  Everything from weapons, machinery, documents and cleanliness.  Here we go!!  Pop back later to find out how we get on.

 

19 Apr 2020 - We’ve fought the War against dust and we’ve prepared all of our documentation.  Time for bed.  T-9 hours till MASC.

 

19 Apr 2020 - Nearly there.. Galley sports next (cleaning the kitchen) so only one thing for it.. takeaway pizza.  T-14 hours to go.

 

19 Apr 2020 - So who doesn’t enjoy a Sunday morning spring clean?  HMS Cattistock is fighting the war against dust in preparation for our Material and Safety Check tomorrow.  T-16 hours to go.

 

18 Apr 2020 - First entry into ‘Freeport’ (Plymouth) ready to make final preparations for our first Operational Sea Training assessment next week.

 

17 Apr 2020 - Makes McMuffins this morning, rescues Ruth this afternoon.  Not just a Diver in the Royal Navy.

 

17 Apr 2020 -  Prepping for OST the right way - Diver by day, chef and medic by night. Train Hard Fight Easy literally made easy with these Sausage and Egg "McMuffins" to fuel the day HMS Cattistock style.  Tune in later to see what else he gets up to today

 

HMS Chiddingfold (MCM2 Crew 1)

 

23 Apr 2020 - We've been doing everything we can the last few weeks to isolate our crew and minimise the chance of exposing ourselves to disease. That hasn't stopped the Coxswain from going out and catching crabs though.

 

19 Apr 2020 - Twitters followers I have let you down.  Tweeto lost the black spot.  This was his punishment:

 

19 Apr 2020 - If you don't hear from us for a couple of days it is because I am still sulking.

 

17 Apr 2020 - Driving this 11m wide ship through this 26m wide gap is just about as dicey as it looks.  Luckily we are all highly talented maritime professionals and, failing that, we have a pilot and tugs from QHM Portsmouth to do the heavy lifting.

 

HMS Grimsby (MCM1 Crew 1)

 

30 Apr 2020 - Happy Birthday to Captain (now honorary Colonel) Tom Moore who has been an inspiration to the country and has truely represented the Best of British spirit, thank you for your fundraising efforts in support of the NHS.

 

HMS Hurworth (MCM2 Crew 3/7)

 

30 Apr 2020 - A very happy 100th birthday to Capt Tom Moore.

 

29 Apr 2020 - It’s business as usual for our Mine Clearance Dive Team as they get back into the water for some training.  Here they are practicing an emergency recovery to Hurworth (a chance for the Ops Officer to have a lay down on the job!).

 

27 Apr 2020 - A great day of training in the sunshine, although don’t be fooled by the calm seas... water temperature of 9 degrees will still take your breath away!

 

27 Apr 2020 - Crew 7 have taken HMS Hurworth to sea for the first time since the handover, and will be putting her through some basic drills and skills.  Absolutely perfect conditions out there!

 

21 Apr 2020 - Dress Ship to celebrate the birthday of Her Majesty, The Queen.  Happy Birthday Ma’am!

 

16 Apr 2020 - Handover complete!  Crew 7 now have the weight.  It’s been an incredibly productive and successful 6 months for Crew 3.  You can catch up with Crew 3 in our new home of HMS Chiddingfold soon.  Thanks to our followers for your support!

 

HMS Ledbury (MCM2 Crew 2)

 

28 Apr 2020 - HMS Ledbury held a one minute silence today to commemorate and honour the key workers lost in the fight against coronavirus.

 

24 Apr 2020 - HMS Ledbury's Mine Clearance Divers washing their hands and clapping at the same time!

 

21 Apr 2020 - Even as HMS Ledbury looks her best for Her Majesty’s Birthday on the outside, the dirty work continues inside with the ship’s Marine Engineers (‘stokers’) carrying out upgrades to Ledbury’s mechanical systems.

 

HMS Pembroke (MCM1 Crew 5)

 

23 Apr 2020 - Despite the near-total global lockdown, Royal Navy minehunters continue to patrol the Gulf to keep trade flowing.

 

23 Apr 2020 - Some video of one of Divers engaging a “Killer Kiwi” target with the .50 cal HMG.  The noise is much more impressive for real!

 

21 Apr 2020 - Perks of the job.

 

21 Apr 2020 - Great weather.  Stunning scenery.  Spot of impromptu training with a passing Merlin from RNAS Culdrose.  Another good Navy Day as we continue to train hard for operations.

 

17 Apr 2020 - Always great to be able to recognise our sailors.  Today the CO was able to present Herbert Lott efficiency awards to the WEO and DWEO, rewarding them for going above and beyond as we get ready for operations.  The certificate comes with a generous cash gift courtesy of the RNRMC.

 

16 Apr 2020 - Not a bad way to start the day.

 

HMS Penzance (MCM1 Crew 3)

 

30 Apr 2020 - Thank you NHS for all you’re doing in the battle against Coronavirus from all of us in HMS PENZANCE.  We’re humbled by your sense of duty and sacrifice.

 

HMS Ramsey (MCM1 Crew 6)

 

30 Apr 2020 - Happy Birthday Colonel Tom from all in Crew 6.

 

Fleet Diving Squadron

 

30 Apr 2020 - A special underwater Dive Navy Clap For Our Carers, Clap For The NHS and celebration of Captain Tom Moore's 100th Birthday from everyone in the Royal Navy Fleet Diving Squadron.

 

29 Apr 2020 - RN Explosive Ordnance Disposal experts from SDU1 assisted Devon & Cornwall Police yesterday in Yettington.  Ordnance was removed and will be safely disposed of.  We remain ready to support our Emergency Services 24/7/365.

 

29 Apr 2020 - On this day: Chief Petty Officer (Diver) A Carss was awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal on 29 Apr 03.  Awarded for his brave conduct when rendering safe a WW2 250kg bomb that was unearthed in HM Naval Base Portsmouth.  It took 20 hours to expose and make safe the fuses.

 

27 Apr 2020 - On 27 Apr 2004, Petty Officer (Diver) J Ravenhall was awarded a Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service Awarded for his actions during the recovery of personnel killed in a collison involving two Sea Kings from HMS ARK ROYAL over the Arabian Gulf on 22 Mar 2003.

 

22 Apr 2020 - Explosive Ordnance Disposal Experts from Southern Diving Unit 2 assisted HM Coastguard Selsey today at Bracklesham Bay.  Munitions were safely disposed off by using a controlled explosion.

 

18 Apr 2020 - RN Bomb Disposal experts from Southern Diving Unit 2 supporting Surrey Police in Steyning.  The team safely disposed of Historic explosive ordnance, ensuring public safety FDS are ready to support our Emergency Services 24/7/365.

 

17 Apr 2020 - This afternoon Southern Diving Unit 2 supported Hampshire Police in Kingley Vale.  The item was safely disposed of by controlled explosive demolition.

 

Navy Lookout

 

22 Apr 2020 - HMS Chiddingfold arrives in Portsmouth this morning.

 


15 Apr 20 - Latest tweets

 

Click on the linked dates to see all associated photos and videos.

 

COMUKMCMFOR (Commander UK MCM Force in the Gulf)

 

6 Apr 2020 - Saturday was International Mine Awareness Day. Mines have potential to close waterways. Royal Navy mine countermeasures vessels HMS Blyth, HMS Brocklesby, HMS Ledbury & HMS Shoreham conduct maritime security operations in the Gulf so commercial shipping can operate freely.

 

 

HMS Blyth (MCM1 Crew 2)

 

13 Apr 2020 - Business as usual for MCM1 Crew 2.  HMS Blyth remains ready for routine operations in the Gulf.

 

 

HMS Cattistock (MCM2 Crew 6)

 

15 Apr 2020 - And we’re off - Operational Sea Training we are coming for you!  Stay tuned with our Crew 6 Mavericks to see how we get on!

 

9 Apr 2020 - Admitedly not at 2000, but HMS Cattistock's Dive Team still wanted to show appreciation for our key workers and carers.

 

8 Apr 2020 - Love the smell of cordite in the morning!

 

4 Apr 2020 - Back at sea for HMS CATTISTOCK, busy day with serials like this MOBEX all performed to a high standard.  All in preparation for delivering on global operations.

 

4 Apr 2020 - Busy days at sea like today require the crew to remain well fed.  Thank you to CH Turner and CH Williams for Steak and Chicken Kievs tonight.

 

3 Apr 2020 - Imagine passing your driving test, getting in the car for the first time and having to reverse all the way out of the busy car park.  That is what our new Commanding Officer did today!

 

2 Apr 2020 - HMS CATTISTOCK showing our appreciation to all the NHS staff and key workers.

 

2 Apr 2020 - Welcome to Lt Cdr D Lee who takes over Command of HMS CATTISTOCK and MCM2 Crew 6 from Lt Cdr [Claire] Thompson: as the ship continues to prepare for global operations.

 

 

2 Apr 2020 - It was a pleasure to host you for the morning Sir (Adm Tony Radakin).

 

HMS Chiddingfold (MCM2 Crew 1)

 

15 Apr 2020 - Instruction came down from above that we were to go to sea and test the 30mm cannon.  We (not so!) reluctantly obliged.

 

13 Apr 2020 - It's moments like these make you proud to be British.  Fancy popping over for tea HMS Tyne?

 

3 Apr 2020 - Our MEO returned from isolation yesterday and presented his latest arts and craft project (our Ship's crest) to the Captain, literally gleaming!  If any of our followers have created anything in the last few weeks, we'd love to see it!

 

 

HMS Hurworth (MCM2 Crew 3)

 

6 Apr 2020 - Here are the ‘Sailors of the Month’ for March.  These three outstanding sailors were instrumental in our success at OST and were recognised for their strong teamwork, professionalism and resilience in the face of persistent challenges.

 

3 Apr 2020 - Sometimes traditional methods are the best!  Communication by visual means - flashing light.  Here we are exchanging identities with HMS Severn.

 

3 Apr 2020 - Our Swimmer of the Watch has that Friday Feeling.

 

 

2 Apr 2020 - Here is one of our divers getting wet, practising his drills down to 42m.

 

2 Apr 2020 - Another day, another Seafox run.  Here is our Local Control Operator (LCO) guiding the Seafox mine disposal system into the recovery net.

 

1 Apr 2020 - Always loved the morning watch... 0400-0800: an overwhelming sense of moral superiority because everyone else is asleep; you get to wake the whole ship with “call the hands”; and you get to watch the sunrise.

 

HMS Ledbury (MCM2 Crew 2)

 

14 Apr 2020 - Business as usual over Easter weekend for HMS Ledbury’s Mine Clearance Divers.  From one frontline unit to another, thank you NHS!

 

 

HMS Pembroke (MCM1 Crew 5)

 

14 Apr 2020 - Great morning for a swim, although RN Ruth and Fred got a little carried away and leapt overboard (again).  Never fear, our swimmer-of-the-watch brought her back onboard safe and well.

 

 

HMS Shoreham (MCM1 Crew 4)

 

9 Apr 2020 - Members of HMS Shoreham Ship's Company recently spent a hot afternoon topping up our First Aid Sea Survival and Damage Control routine training, making sure we're ready for anything at sea.

 

 

Fleet Diving Squadron

 

15 Apr 2020 - Incredibly proud to be a Felix Fund Trustee... have a look at Felix Fund tips for getting through the challenges of lockdown.

 

15 Apr 2020 - Today Southern Diving Unit 1 provided EOD support to Devon & Cornwall Police in Torquay.  FDS Units remain at immediate notice to support our emergency services 24/7/365.

 

14 Apr 2020 - FDS remain at immediate notice 24/7/365 to support our Emergency Services on land and at sea.  Today Southern Diving Unit 1 provided diving support to the MOD Police in Plymouth Sound.

 

 

14 Apr 2020 - What does it take to be a Royal Navy Clearance Diver?  A real pleasure to work with Bremont on this video; and a great insight into the Royal Navy Clearance Diver specialisation.

 

9 Apr 2020 - Brand new to the twittersphere: FDS provides dedicated and motivated Clearance Divers, to defeat complex Explosive Ordnance threats and deliver highly specialist diving capabilities to UK Defence; in peace and war.

 

MASTT (Maritime Autonomous Systems Trials Team commanded by MCDOA member Dave Stanbury)

 

10 Apr 2020 - Grateful to DESIDER Magazine for their published article on the RN Sweep Demonstrator Cold Wx Trials in Canada, successfully completed by MASTT, earlier this year.

 

 


4 Apr 20 - Latest EOD Tasks

 

The Devon Live website contains this article reporting the disposal of an unexploded projectile unearthed in a garden in Belstone, near Okehampton in Devon on 30 March.

 

 

The same website contains this article reporting yesterday's disposal of a smoke marker found on the ridge at Westward Ho! in Cornwall. 

 

 

Both tasks were undertaken by members of Plymouth-based Southern Diving Unit 1 (SDU1).

 

     

 


3 Apr 20 - Death of former CD Roy Peter 'Ginger/Dinah' Shore

 

I am grateful to CD branch legend Eamon 'Ginge' Fullen QGM for this sad notification:

 

"Hi Rob,

 

Hope all is well in isolation.  

 

One of the old boys that I met has just died.  He was mentioned in Yorky Wilkinson's chronicles [see entry for 13 Jun 18 in News Archive 62].  He wasn't in the branch too long and did not go into diving but had fond memories.  I was only chatting to him last week as I'm writing chronicles of the big EOD clearances.

 

Please find attached a dit and a few photos.  His family is happy to share the info on the CD websites etc.  His death was not to do with the virus.

 

Cheers Rob.

 

Stay safe,

 

Ginge"

 

This is the information Ginge Fullen attached to his email:

 

Roy Peter 'Ginger/Dinah' Shore MBE

 

Peter Shore's recollections:

 

"I had joined as a Boy Seaman October 1949 at HMS St Vincent, the Portsmouth boy seamen's training establishment.

 

After passing out there I was sent Devonport to await allocation to a ship.  Hundreds of us would muster every morning in the Drill Shed and await allocation to a daily duty ranging from dockyard street cleaning, spud peeling and window cleaning.  The Drill Officer giving the jobs out on nearing me shouted “can anyone swim?”.  My hand shot up and, being virtually under his walking stick, he noticed me and shouted that I was to report to the Chief up at the Dockyard swimming pool.

 

Once there I was detailed off to clean the toilets!  There was a SWD [Shallow Water Diver] course going on and as one of the candidates did not like being underwater, lo and behold I was called over and given a length of rope to hold.  I quickly found out there was a diver on the other end.  After some time the chief in charge shouted “haul them up and change round”.  You can imagine my horror, so panicking I shot my hand up and so was questioned by the chief as to my concern.  After hesitantly explaining I was only there by accident/chance I was told “not to matter, you have got knickers on haven’t you?”  Bewildered, I nodded.  I was on course now apparently.  Thus, after some weeks or so I became a qualified ship’s diver!  We used, if my memory is correct a slightly modified piece of Submarine Escape Equipment which had a small limited time oxygen tube and a cartridge of CO2 absorbent powder.  The name DSEA always rings a bell."

  

Peter qualified as Clearance Diver in 1955 on course number 14 and served in Malta which also saw service in the Suez crisis in 1956.  He was awarded one of the few Mine and Bomb Disposal medals for EOD work on the Malta team. 

 

FCDT 35 km away from Port Said at El Cap - The British and French front lines

 

He played rugby for the Navy and that’s when we had a big Navy and it was all officers in the team.  In the early days the first eight weeks of CD course was done in the home ports of Devonport, Portsmouth and Chatham.  Portsmouth and Chatham were running alongside us with a dozen people and more starting from each location.  A total of 57 started course number 14 from all three units.

 

From Peter Shore's diaries:

 

"Toward the end of the eight weeks we were given an interesting challenge which was to attack the local Esso petroleum storage tanks and blow them up.  For this exercise, the complex right on the river would be guarded by Royal Marines and the TA and we had a window of 24 hours in which to attack it and place our so-called bombs.  Observers would be on site to keep the rough stuff to a minimum and comment on the outcome.  We divers were divided into pairs and allowed to make our own plans.

 

Well I played rugby with some of the Marines and didn’t think they would understand anything about keeping the rough stuff to a minimum so devised a strategy for myself and my partner Yorky Wilkinson to do it our way.  I knew a girl in Torpoint whose father was a painter and decorator and persuaded him to lend us his work van and two sets of white overalls and a long ladder.  Suitably dressed we screeched to a halt dead on 12 pm the start time of the exercise and in panic mode begged the Marines to be let in for a paint job that needed to be finished.  After vaguely flashing our home-made work passes we were shooed in with cusses and threats to get the job done quickly.  Oh, we did that alright and went straight around to the unwatched fuel tanks and liberally painted ‘BOMB’ in secluded but very pertinent and vulnerable spots.  Some 15 minutes later we drove out with our equipment and shouting grateful thanks to the sentries.

 

Returning to the Diving School not one hour later we reported that we had completed our mission and placed our bombs.  In fact, our other course members were still getting their suits and dummy limpet mines ready.  Our Boss rather smugly rang the RM observer and explained that one of his teams had already successfully completed its task and was it really worth sending in the others just to rub it in.  Naturally there was an argument but we won the day as the task had been to blow up the target, not how, where, why or what, just blow it up, and we did.  Of course, they were expecting a night time attack from the sea.  Clearance Divers 1 – Royal Marines 0.

 

By Webmaster: According to information received from Les Maynard, this course photo, taken at the Joint Services Bomb Disposal School at Broadbridge Heath near Horsham in West Sussex in June 1955, comprised: Back row: Les Maynard, Derek 'Del' Rowe, Yorky Wilkinson, Bob 'Jock' Adam and Peter 'Dinah' Shore.  Front Row: Bernard Edward 'Donkey' Bray, Bill Bailey, Philip Le Cornu and Dutchy Vanderson.  See entry for 11 Jul 16 in News Archive 55.

 

1955 CD Course on Bomb Disposal Course

 

Several of my course were drafted to Malta at the same time at the start of 1956 where we would be working hard but playing even harder.  Jock Adams, Donkey, Yorky and myself.  Much of our day to day work was of course salvaging and indentify numerous items on land and in water, survey, checking out virtually every suspicious reported object.  The dockyard cranes, fishermen would dredge up dozens of items that would of course need to be examined, for many ships had been sunk or bombed in the many harbours. Then there were an new influx of holidaymakers with snorkels who would also be exploring lesser-known rocky inlets and would come across projectiles any weird object would be reported to the local police who would then alert us. Readers must remember the size of our area was throughout the Med.  Measuring some 2000 miles long and over 500 miles wide with some 20 countries with ports and coastline to worry about and we were always wanted NOW (even sometimes yesterday! especially if money was involved!).

 

AB(CD) Peter 'Dinah' Shore

 

One notable trip was to survey the seabed off a bay at Benghazi, Libya prior to laying an oil pipeline out to a moored buoy.  It turned out to be a German Type ‘C’ Magnetic/Acoustic Influence mine with a type 34A fuze.  It weighed 1 Ton and was 10ft long.  So it was a case of all change, big rethink and signals to Head Office.  Action was instigated with the police to secure not only the immediate site but to half evacuate the dock area being 90% an oil distribution complex!  My job was comparatively easy for I had to man the phone to ensure all moves and steps, tools and tea-breaks taken by Boss II, the submerged MDO (Mine Disposal Officer) were recorded for posterity/training and research.  This was a wise precaution in case the thing blew up; if so, at least someone (the UK boffins) would know where we went wrong!  One small drawback was that I was manning the phone at the pointed end as I was only a few feet above the mine handing tools al la medical operating surgeon!  Sometimes it felt awfully lonely!  All ended well."

 

Peter Shore left the Navy in the late 1950s.  Whilst travelling through Nepal with his wife set up a charity over there which he continued to support throughout his life.

 

Roy Peter Shore was gazetted for his appointment as an MBE in the 2006 New Year Honours "for services to Scouting in Bristol and to the Friendship Medical Clinic in Nepal".

 

Also see Beryl & Peter Shore MBE.

 


2 Apr 20 - Promotions to Warrant Officer

 

Hearty congratulations to CPO(MW) Ricky Nelson, CPO(MW) Sean Slee and CPO(D) Eddie Waring on being selected for promotion to WO1 (Warrant Officer 1st Class) on today's signal.

 

Ricky Nelson kneeling centre

 

Sean Slee second right

 

Eddie Waring

 


1 Apr 20 - Latest LS&GC Awards

 

Hearty congratulations to MCDOA member Bob Hawkins MBE on being gazetted for the award of the 8th clasp to his Naval Long Service & Good Conduct Medal.  This is a new record where the RN officer corps is concerned.

 

    

 

Bob's diving qualification was rescinded following injuries he sustained during an encounter with an unusually aggressive shrimp while based in Penang (see entry for 13 Dec 12 in News Archive 40).  Although he is still serving in a much extended capacity, he is currently on a 12-week lockdown at home owing to his 'shielded' status (age-related vulnerability) during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

 

Bob gallantly abandoned his walking frame especially for this photo

 

I am sure all members of our community will join me in wishing Bob and his delightful carer Trudy continued good fortune in the years to come.

 


 

Back to top

 

News Archives

 

Home