HMS Dauntless Improves Performance after Exercises in USA


HMS Dauntless’ sea boat rides the fairly choppy surf somewhere off the Eastern Seaboard of the United States as a two-week international exercise comes to a close.

The Navy’s most advanced destroyer was Britain’s input to FRUKUS (pronounced froo-kus apparently, not fruck-us), an annual get-together of naval forces from France, Russia, the UK and USA.

After an initial period alongside in Norfolk, the world’s largest naval base, where sailors from the four nations practised firefighting and damage control, navigation and ship handling (the latter courtesy of a hi-tech simulator), the FRUKUS ships – which included Russia’s Admiral Chabanenko, France’s FS Ventose, the command team from the USS Harry S Truman carrier battle group and the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS James E Williams – headed out to sea.

The emphasis of FRUKUS is on testing the respective navies’ abilities to work together from the basics of communications and handling their ships, to multi-national missions such as counter-piracy, boarding operations, even a spot of gunnery.

We got to know the other navies both personally and professionally,” said Dauntless’ Sub Lt James Callender. “We also got a better understanding of each other, which helps diplomacy and working together in the future.

“With this training, we can become a better team.”

The man directing FRUKUS this – the participating countries take in turns (next year it’s Russia) – Rear Admiral Herman Shelanski USN was delighted with the outcome of the fortnight of exercises and training serials.

We hope that this is just the beginning of increasing our ability to benefit security around the world and to lead us, as four different nations, into future operations, both afloat and ashore,” he said.

With FRUKUS now completed, Dauntless – the second of the Navy’s six Type 45 destroyers – has remained in the United States.

The ship spent the July 4 weekend in Mayport in northern Florida, where local US navy commanders hailed the ship as ‘the latest and greatest of the Royal Navy’.

It’s in the high 20s (Celsius, not Fahrenheit…) in Florida right now so Mayport naval base staff had suncream and lip balm ready to distribute to the 200 or so sailors and ship’s flight – the destroyer has two Lynx aboard, a first for a 45 – who were keen to hit the local beaches during their stay.

That visit is due to end today with Dauntless sailing to resume trials, both of her twin Lynx combination and also to test the ability of the £1bn destroyer and her state-of-the-art kit to operate in hot weather (she’s already conducted some cold weather trials off northern Norway earlier this year).
Source: royalnavy, July 8, 2011