It is great to know that we are now back in communication with our ship, keeping in regular touch with the RFA Cardigan Bay. Our Secretary shipmate Gordon Green was in contact with their Press Release Officer on 6th June who sent us a raft of information, some of which needless to say may not suitable to be shown on our web site, well I think that is the case and rather than divulge any restricted information, I will act as censor and include what I think will be OK. It couldd be I am being over careful because I doubt very much if the RFA Press Officer would send us material that is restricted or secret, but it’s better to be careful than irresponsible. Maybe he could give me a steer on this topic? I don’t want to end up in chokey if you see what I mean! I will ask Shipmate Gordon to see if he can ‘scrounge beg or borrow’ one or two pictures of our ship so we can see what she looks like now.
Here is the news we received:-
After a long and arduous spring full of maintenance and training, RFA Cardigan Bay has deployed to the Gulf on operations. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship and her 110 strong crew of seafarers and embarked forces sailed from Portland Port after four weeks of Operational Sea Training (OST) and a swift stock up of essential equipment, ammunition and stores. During OST, seafarers faced simulated fires, floods and casualties amongst a simulated bombardment by real aircraft and surface vessels, flying and sailing in close proximity to the vessel. These included the Royal Navy’s Falcon and Hawk jets punching holes into the hull with their armament of bombs and missiles and Royal Marine RHIB craft, manned by crews firing onto the upper decks with machine guns and RPGs – all simulations of course! These very realistic exercises have sharpened the crew’s reactions and ensure the ship can respond swiftly to any operational situation.
“After the trials and tribulations of the last few months, I am very proud that we have risen to every challenge and have now successfully deployed. I have every confidence that with the dedication, devotion and determination I have witnessed throughout the ship, this will be a hugely successful deployment with the high standards of operational support the RFA is world renowned for providing. ” 3/O (X) Callum McArdell, Deck Officer
Training included the operation of aircraft including Merlins, Dauphins and the new Wildcat Maritime Attack Helicopter and also the opportunity to flood the ships’ dock and receive landing craft through her rear door; both essential familiarisation exercises for the crew and embarked forces. This training ensures Cardigan Bay is now ready to be utilised in her role as a Landing Ship Dock (Auxiliary) which involves transporting troops and their equipment around the globe then enabling them to deploy ashore by either landing craft or helicopter.
“I am immensely proud of the achievement of my Ship’s Company in completing Operational Sea Training to a high standard. Our focus is now on the delivery of Maritime Operational Support to the Royal Navy and our Coalition Partners in our assigned theatre of operations. Cardigan Bay is a fine ship, manned by professional personnel, well set to contend with the rigours of our tasking.” Captain J MacAnley RFA, Commanding Officer.
Members of the RFA Cardigan Bay. We the members of the HMS Cardigan Bay Association cordially invite you to come and join us at any of our reunions. You will be made more than welcome and enjoy a relaxing and a great time amongst ship mates. Why not give us a try?? We would love to have you with us, honest!!