UK Warship Visits Veracruz in Mexico
RFA Fort Rosalie recently visited the important port of Veracruz in Mexico, following on from Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s visit to Mexico in March 2011 and a commitment made by FCO’s Secretary of State William Hague almost two years ago.
During Fort Rosalie’s visit, Admiral Victor Manuel Gamboa, commander of Mexico’s Third Naval Zone and Captain Ross G. Ferris OBE, Commanding Officer RFA Fort Rosalie laid a wreath in remembrance of the defence of Veracruz on 21 Apr 1914 against the American occupation during the Mexican Revolution.
The defence of Veracruz by naval academy cadets is a significant event for the Mexican Navy, where Lieutenant Azueta and a Naval Military School cadet, Cadet Midshipman Virgilio Uribe, died during the fighting and are now part of the list of honour read by all branches of the Mexican Armed Forces. In memory of the brave defence put up by the Naval School cadets, the school was renamed the Heroic Naval Military School of Mexico in their honour.
While in port, some of the ship’s company attended a climate change seminar where among other notable speakers, Group Captain Maurice Dixon addressed the seminar which covered topics on sustainable development and greenhouse gas emissions.
Other activities included a series of onboard work shops on International Maritime Search and Rescue, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief and Oil Pollution. This involved presentations and an exchange of information between RFA Fort Rosalie’s Officers and about 20 Officers and Senior Rates of the Mexican Navy.
A party of school children from the Bachillerato Veracruz were given a tour of the ship and children presented a book on Mexican history and school baseball caps as presents to the crew.
There was a grand departure from Veracruz with the Mexican Navy Band playing a mixture of British and Mexican music including the Beatles and Land of Hope and Glory. Teachers and school children from the Bachillerato Veracruz turned out in force to see the ship displaying a banner of British and Mexican Friendship.
RFA Fort Rosalie is currently in the Caribbean supporting UK Overseas Territories, providing the UK Government’s presence in the region and strengthening bonds with our allies as well as acting as a deterrent to drug smugglers. RFA Fort Rosalie is ideally suited to demonstrate the RFA’s military, logistical and specialist skills having recently returned from operations off the coast of Libya.
Naval Today Staff , February 17, 2012; Image: royalnavy