Wednesday, February 9, 2011

No more Up and at 'Em - HMS Chatham bows out

FOR the last time in a proud career spanning more than 20 years, the White Ensign is hauled down on HMS Chatham.
The Type 22 frigate formally bowed out of service yesterday at a decommissioning ceremony in Devonport – the first of five warships axed under last autumn’s defence cuts to officially pay off.
In suitably bleak weather (cold, rain) to mark the solemn occasion, more than 100 guests – friends, families, VIPS, affiliates and dignitaries from Kent – joined the ship’s company in bidding farewell.
Among those saying their goodbyes was Admiral Sir Ian Forbes, Chatham’s first CO back in 1990 when the frigate was commissioned. He told today’s Chathams that back then, the ship was regarded as the most advanced in the world.
As for his final successor in charge of F87, Cdr Simon Huntington, he said his men and women should take pride in Chatham’s accomplishments – most recently dealing with the pirate menace off the Horn of Africa.
“Rather than lament the loss of a fine ship, I urge you to celebrate what she has achieved,” he stressed.

“In the words of her sponsor Lady Roni Oswald, I know you will find that what Chatham has achieved in the last 20 years is widely admired throughout the Royal Navy.  She has been an enormously successful, happy and reliable ship throughout this period and wherever you find yourselves serving next, you can always be extremely proud of what you achieved.’’
Although his ship has now formally left the Fleet, you’ve not heard the last of HMS Chatham just yet.
The final chapter in the Chatham story will be completed this weekend as the ship’s company parade through the Kentish town for which their ship is named.
They will bring the curtain down on affiliates with the Medway by exercising the Freedom of the Borough one last time, marching through the heart of Chatham from the High Street to the council offices from 11.30am to 12.30pm on Saturday.
Related tags .....


Post a Comment