Sussex Navy News

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For news on coronavirus regarding SANO, the RN and armed forces, see separate Coronavirus page

Lt Cdr Gwilym Roberts RNR

SANO regrets to report the death on 31 July of Lieutenant Commander David Gwilym Morris Roberts, CBE RNR, age 95.  An obituary will appear here and in the next newsletter.

Shoreham crew home, updated report

The 40+ Crew 4 of SANO-affiliated HMS Shoreham is back home after 8 months in the Gulf.

While at sea, Shoreham assisted her US Navy partners working in the region after the USS Dextrous fouled her props on discarded nets and could not free them.  The Sandown class minehunter made a 140-mile round trip to assist, her divers spending three hours underwater cutting the nets.

Maintenance tasks included emptying cable lockers in 40 deg C.

One of many joyful family reunions back in the UK was a dad meeting his new baby daughter.  Mary Lee, coming up five months old, is the newest addition to the Lee and Shoreham families.  More than four months after Mary entered the world, Leading Engineering Technician Michael Lee got to meet her for the first time.  Mum Naomi is a Leading Medical Assistant.

At the end of June, Shoreham returned to her primary tasking of mine survey routines using her Sea Fox mine disposal system.  Later this year Crew 4 will take over HMS Pembroke.

More here.

New Wales RNR HQ

Maritime Reservists across Wales have a new home, in Cardiff Bay.

The £11 million facility will serve as the central hub and operating base for HMS Cambria, the Royal Marines Reserve Detachment Cardiff and Wales University Royal Naval Unit.

There to receive the building on behalf of the RN in Wales was Commander Steve Fry, Commanding Officer HMS Cambria, from Colonel Nick Beard of the Reserve Forces and Cadets Association for Wales, who project-managed the build with builders Morgan-Sindall and landowners Associated British Ports.

The new building at Cardiff Bay began in January 2019, the 4,000 square metre steel-framed facility being completed on time early this year.  It will serve all Maritime Reservists in Wales, and provide a focus for community engagements in the region.  The new facility will also provide short term accommodation for up to 50 people, alongside a modern office environment with up to 80 workspaces, several training and classroom suites, a fitness room and a large multi-purpose dining room.  Outside, there is a Royal Marines rope training area, car park and parade square.

First established in 1947, HMS Cambria was originally based in Cardiff Docks until moving to two converted married quarters at Sully in the Vale of Glamorgan in 1980.

Report here.

Pursuer, Dasher take post in Gib

HM Ships Pursuer and Dasher have now formally assumed responsibility for safeguarding the waters around Gibraltar.

Ex-HMS Sussex and Sussex URNU P2000 Pursuer, along with her sister ship, took over on Friday 24th as the backbone of the Gibraltar Squadron.  As previously reported here, their crews spent the previous five weeks getting to grips with the Archer-class fast patrol craft, which replace the smaller Sabre and Scimitar after 17 years on Gib duty.

MoD has contracted at £10m for two new boats to replace Pursuer and Dasher in 2021 and 2022.

Reports here and here.

Sussex URNU – Training Officer vacancy

There is a vacancy for a Training Officer at Sussex University Royal Naval Unit.  Applicants should be under 50.  Details here.