Friday, February 11, 2011

Cornwall and Richmond meet up to tackle piracy

FRESH from a rendezvous with an old friend – the former HMS Active – another encounter with a well-known comrade for HMS Cornwall.
This time the Indian Ocean meet-up was with HMS Richmond, new to the area as she begins European Union humanitarian duties.
As the Type 23 has just arrived in Pirate Alley, while the Fighting 99 is an old hand, Richmond called upon Cornwall’s expertise.
Her command team received a thorough briefing on the latest information regarding brigandage in the region from the Type 22’s CO, Cdr David Wilkinson; his ship is currently the command vessel for Combined Task Force 151, one of several naval groups trying to deal with the problems of piracy, terrorism and smuggling in waters east of Suez.
As for Richmond, she’s attached to the European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) under the direction of Spain’s Rear Admiral Juan Rodríguez.

As part of her wider anti-piracy mission, the newly-arrived frigate will shepherd aid ships into Somalia.
Richmond has been charged with escorting ships through the pirate gauntlet to ports in Somalia as part of the UN World Food Programme; half the Somali population depends upon these deliveries for their survival.
“It is this challenge that provides the greatest reward for many of the sailors in HMS Richmond, knowing that they have a key part to play in some of the most important events of today,” said the frigate’s Commanding Officer Capt Mike Walliker.
Before the rendezvous with Chatham, Richmond had paid a short visit to Djibouti – a first for many of the Type 23’s ship’s company.
As well as the usual tasks – maintenance, calls on local leaders and discussions about Richmond’s impending mission in the Indian Ocean – there were runs out for the warship’s rugby and football teams.
HMS Richmond breaks away from HMS Cornwall – as seen from the latter’s forecastle. Picture: LA(Phot) Dave Jenkins, FRPU East
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