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For news on coronavirus regarding SANO, the RN and armed forces, see separate Coronavirus page
Canon Beau Brandie
SANO regrets to report the death on 19 May of The Rev Canon Beaumont Lauder Brandie, BD AKC MBE RNR. Beau had been a member of SANO since 1994 and was a former Chaplain to HMS Sussex and Brighton Sea Cadets (also Chairman), and Staff Chaplain Southern Area Sea Cadets. An obituary will appear in the June newsletter.
QNLZ sails for training post-quarantine
HMS Queen Elizabeth has set sail for trials after carrying out a period of quarantine at sea.
The 65,000-tonne ship left Portsmouth on 29 April after all 800 crew members were tested for coronavirus. Two members of the ship’s company tested positive, were removed and the ship was allowed to sail. It returned to anchor in the Solent last week for final preparations before departing earlier on Friday.
It is due to undertake training with F35 fighters before its first operational deployment in 2021. Flag Officer Sea Training staff and other personnel who join the ship will be required to have completed 14-days self-isolation.
A RN spokesman said: “She will undergo several weeks of training and assessment with the staff of FOST to ensure the UK can deliver on its commitment to have a Carrier Strike Group ready to deploy from the end of this year.”
New mine hunting package introduced into Fleet
HMS Pembroke is the RN’s most modern Mine Counter-Measures Vessel after being equipped with a new state-of-the-art MCM command system.
ORCA – Oceanographic Reconnaissance Combat Architecture – replaces the existing NAUTIS system. After an eight-month refit, Pembroke was chosen to be the first RN MCMV to receive the new kit.
Engineers and contracting staff fitted the new system in a maintenance period alongside HMNB Clyde in February and March, concluding HATs and SATs in April. The upgrade involved a complete overhaul of the Operations Room, installing new consoles throughout, replacing the bridge console and interfacing the new system with the myriad onboard sensors.
Interview with F-35 pilot on flying from QNLZ
Lt Cdr Stephen Collins, an F-35 pilot on board HMS Queen Elizabeth, reveals what it’s like to fly the stealth fighter from the new carrier.
RN web page carrying the interview here (29 mins).
Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill
The government has introduced a Bill providing greater legal protections to armed forces personnel and veterans serving on military operations overseas. It aims to reduce the uncertainty they face and to provide a better legal framework for any future overseas conflicts, in light of the unique burden and pressures placed on personnel.
The Bill will create a new ‘triple lock’ in order to give service personnel and veterans greater certainty that the unique pressures placed on them during overseas operations will be taken into account when prosecution decisions are made concerning alleged historical offences. The triple lock consists of:
- a presumption against prosecution in respect of alleged offences committed on overseas military operations more than five years ago
- a requirement for prosecutors to give particular weight to certain matters in reaching decisions in such cases
- a requirement to obtain the consent of the Attorney General, or in the case of Northern Ireland the Advocate General, before a prosecution can proceed.
The Bill does not apply to operations within the United Kingdom, including events which took place in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.
Close Calls: On Camera (BBC) – RN bomb squad
One of a BBC TV series, this episode shows 2 divers documenting a wreck in the Thames finding more than they bargained for and calling in the Royal Navy bomb team. Aired on BBC 1, 29 April; view here.