RFA Fort Rosalie Receives Centenary Wedgewood Bowl Award
The Royal Fleet Auxiliary Centenary Wedgewood Bowl is an annual award for Humanitarian Aid and International Relations. The recipient of the award for 2012 is RFA Fort Rosalie for her outstanding contribution towards international relations.
RFA Fort Rosalie was deployed to the Caribbean from December 2011 until June 2012. During her deployment she engaged in High Level Defence Diplomacy, most notably supporting ‘The UK Caribbean Forum’ in Grenada in February.
Foreign Ministers and Prime Ministers of practically every Caribbean island and bordering country attended, as well as four Ministers (including the Foreign Secretary).
A very high level and intense visit to Veracruz, Mexico, at the request of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the British Embassy also occurred in February.
The ship either contributed to or hosted several seminars and events, including a major reception co-hosted by the Commanding Officer and the Ambassador.
The ship visited Cuba at the end of May, a country which, in terms of protocol and Defence Diplomacy, is very important to the United Kingdom.
A key aim of the visit was strengthening the Counter Narcotics collaboration between British and Cuban authorities and a very productive meeting was held onboard RFA Fort Rosalie with the Cuban Ministry of the Interior to discuss details of this work.
The visit concluded with Cuba’s British Culture Week and the 250th Anniversary of the Battle of Havana.
RFA Fort Rosalie conducted a two week tour of the Windward and Leeward Islands with Their Royal Highnesses the Earl and Countess of Wessex embarked.
This was in support of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee, where the ship served as a ‘Royal Yacht’ with all of the protocol and diplomatic pressures that this entailed; including holding a Royal Reception in Barbados hosted by their Royal Highnesses, operating a Royal Barge (created onboard from a 11 metre workboat) and dressing ship every day, all without external assistance.
All these events were characterised by the strongest of plaudits from Attaches, High Commissions, Embassies and Their Royal Highnesses.
(The RFA Centenary Wedgwood Bowl was donated by Josiah Wedgwood & Sons Limited and presented to Commodore R C Thornton RFA, at the Dover Maritime Festival on the 24 March 2006, by the Minister for Shipping, Dr Stephen J Ladyman MP.)
Naval Today Staff, February 26, 2013; Image: Royal Navy