Royal Navy Trains in Port of Milford Haven, UK
Royal Navy Reservists began arriving in Pembrokeshire from all over the UK to take part in a major exercise in the Milford Haven area.
Exercise Cambrian Trader, which runs from Wednesday September 18 to Sunday September 22, is designed to train the Navy’s Maritime Trade Operations specialists and prepare them for deployment in support of the Royal Navy anywhere in the world.
The Royal Navy will also have HMS Mersey, a fisheries protection vessel, in port, as well as a specialist diving unit from Devonport and a team of hydrographic surveyors. Participants in the exercise will be working through a series of tasks designed to replicate what the Royal Navy could do to support a commercial port and sustain safe commercial operations.
This includes diving on wrecks, surveying for safe anchorages, briefing merchant shipping on safety and security, and escorting merchant shipping into and out of port.
Together with Dyfed Powys Police, the Port of Milford Haven and members of the Army Reserve, the exercise will involve well over a hundred people, yet it will be almost unseen by the public because so much of the activity is waterborne, or at the Port’s Headquarters.
Maritime Trade Operations are the link between merchant shipping and the military, supporting the free and safe passage of legitimate shipping in trouble spots around the world. With over 90% of world trade transported by sea, this is an essential part of a whole range of capabilities which the Royal Navy deploys to provide security at sea and protect our economic lifelines.
Commander Simon Cottam, who leads the Navy’s Maritime Trade Operations specialisation, said:
“This is a big event in our calendar and Milford Haven is a great location, with the kind of high value shipping we could find ourselves liaising with in the Gulf, or in counter-piracy operations off East Africa.”
The Port of Milford Haven will be supporting the exercise throughout, including hosting a temporary operations room, set up for the duration of the exercise.
Bill Hirst, Harbourmaster at the Port of Milford Haven, said:
“As the third largest Port in the UK safely handling 29% of Britain’s seaborne trade in oil and gas, Milford Haven provides a great base for those wanting to understand how a busy commercial port operates.
“Opportunities to exercise with the Royal Navy are rare and therefore we are pleased that they have chosen Milford Haven and are keen to support them.”
Press Release, September 19, 2013; Image: Royal Navy