UK: HMS Vanguard’s Crew Ready for Operations

HMS Vanguard's Crew Ready for Operations

Crew members from Royal Navy submarine, HMS Vanguard, used a recent support crew period to strengthen their ties with affiliates.

Back in November there was an opportunity for Vanguard’s support crew to reinforce the submarine’s links, beginning with a trip to Derby.

In 2002, Derby awarded all submariners with the freedom of the city, and Vanguard’s crew took the opportunity to give something back when they raised over £200 for the local Sea Cadet unit and paid a visit to the Dolphin Ward at Derby Children’s Hospital.

The crew was also invited along to the Submarine Association of Derbyshire’s affiliates’ dinner where Lady and Admiral Sir Trevor Soar were the guests of honour.

Next up for the submariners was a trip to London where they attended the submariners’ memorial weekend. The event began with a trip to the Imperial War Museum, followed by a short service held at St Paul’s Cathedral.

The Vanguard crew joined around 70 other members of the Submarine Service from around the UK, marching to the Submariners’ cenotaph by the River Thames to pay their respects.

Speaking of the event, Sub Lieutenant Aaron Williams from HMS Vanguard, said:

Attending these events gives us an understanding of how the Submarine Service has helped shape our history. It really was a privilege to be part of the memorial weekend.”

The following week HMS Vanguard were back north of the border and on Islay – their official civic affiliate along with the Isle of Jura. The crew attended no less than four Remembrance services across the island and also found time to visit some of the local schools.

A £500 cheque was also presented to the IDEAs charity centre on the island. The centre is pivotal to the local community, providing elderly and disabled members of the island with activities and hobbies and providing a freedom they otherwise would not have.

The New Year saw the Vanguard Port crew tackle an extensive package of shore-based training at Clyde, everything from individual fire fighting and weapons training to nuclear watch keeping certification.

It was in preparation for the transition from “support” to “on crew” with the handover happening on February.

The occasion was marked by a full set of Divisions, their first for three years, and inspected by Rear Admiral Chris Hockley, Flag Officer Scotland, Northern England and Northern Ireland (FOSNNI).

During the ceremony there was the presentation of awards to two members of the crew. The first was a CSSE Commendation for Chief Petty Officer WEM(O) Stone, in recognition of his dedication and commitment in support of Continuous At Sea Deterrent patrols and maintenance of the weapons systems.

The second award was the Fleet Engineering Effectiveness Trophy (Submarines) for 2011, reflecting the number of significant upgrades and maintenance packages delivered by both Marine and Weapons Engineering Departments throughout the year.

Naval Today Staff , May 01, 2012; Image: royalnavy