UK: Army, RAF Experience Life on Board HMS Richmond

Army, RAF Experience Life on Board HMS Richmond

Army and RAF personnel have been getting their sea legs on board HMS Richmond while on her patrol of the South Atlantic.

The Yorkshire Regiment and 230 Squadron RAF are affiliated to the Portsmouth-based Type-23 frigate and seven personnel were given the opportunity to stay on board and experience life at sea.

During the three-day stint the ship demonstrated a harbour entry and a complex air defence exercise with the ship and her company while at a high state of readiness – meaning they man their weapons and operations systems as they would in the event of imminent attack.

Commenting on the visit, Flight Lieutenant Adam Piper of 230 Sqn RAF said:

“Our time on HMS Richmond was immensely valuable; as I am part of a Support Helicopter Squadron that could deploy onto a RN ship in the future.

“It was an excellent opportunity for us to experience this environment and learn how it operates.

“We were fortunate enough to see navigation, gunnery, naval engineering and helicopter operations as well as emergency drills, all of which the crew ensured we were totally involved in and so could gain as much as possible from the experience.

“Perhaps the most valuable experience was learning firsthand the technical challenges of limited space and support that are very different from the challenges experienced on an RAF Main Operating Base, and which we would experience as a Sqn if we were to embark on an ship in the future.

“All of our group thoroughly enjoyed our visit and hope to arrange more in the near future for other personnel, as well as opportunities for HMS Richmond personnel to visit the Squadron and gain RAF experience.”

The seven-month Atlantic Patrol see the Type 23 frigate undertake maritime security operations, including counter narcotics and anti-piracy patrols, providing opportunities to work with a number of other navies to further strengthen ties and demonstrate the Royal Navy’s commitment to the region.

HMS Richmond left Portsmouth in August and will return early next year.

Press Release, October 30, 2013; Image: Royal Navy