Op Telic - Naval ops

Discussion in 'Iraq (Op TELIC)' started by Goatman, Jul 21, 2005.

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  1. Goatman

    Goatman LE Book Reviewer

    Couldn't find a thread relevant but thought this might be of interest:
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    HMS Argyll - A Force for Good in the Northern Arabian Gulf
    20/07/2005


    With four months of intensive operations behind her, Devonport Type 23 frigate HMS Argyll has begun the final patrol of her Iraq deployment.

    Having already completed three patrols in the Northern Arabian Gulf the ship and crew are becoming old hands at the day-to-day operating inside Iraqi territorial waters, and are now the most experienced unit of all coalition forces.

    Since sailing from Dubai she has played a vital role in contributing to the continued coalition effort in the region. Almost exclusively employed in close proximity to the Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminal, her primary role has focused on policing the exclusion zone round the terminal.

    She has also been heavily involved in both boarding operations and inshore policing patrols. The latter, so-called Blue Light Patrols, aim to project the presence of the coalition forces over a wider area including operations such as Northern Flame, where units from coalition task force, including navies from Australia and the United States, took part in inshore overnight patrols.

    HMS Argyll's boarding team consists of 7 Royal Marines from the Fleet Protection Group based at Faslane, Scotland, known onboard as the 'Green Team'. The Marines are supplemented by other sailors from HMS Argyll, the 'Blue Team'.



    2nd Lt John Smith RM and Lt Ben Jones RN head the teams and have forged a strong relationship during the intense operations in the Gulf. The boarding process follows a set pattern of 'phases' begun by the initial VHF radio query when vessels of interest are identified via either the surface search capability, provided by HMS Argyll's Lynx Mk 8 helicopter, or through the radar picture compiled by the ship's operations room.




    HMS Argyll's Lynx Mk 8 Helicopter and Boarding Team returning from the Oriental Tiger [Picture: LA(Phot) Shaun Preston]
    Suspect vessels are told to anchor and then boarded. The Green Team secures the vessel by carrying out security sweeps and crew musters. Lt Roberts' Blue Team follow, providing in-depth searches, backed by the XERES system.

    XERES provides a communication link and data capture, allowing documents onboard the merchant ships to be copied and passed to HMS Argyll and then worldwide. It also provides an electronic chart display onboard the seaboats, allowing the seaboat commander to operate out of visual range of HMS Argyll and in restricted waters, but still be directed onto a target boat.

    XERES allows the Blue Team to copy vital crew lists, passport details, bills of lading and ship's registry documents, thus enabling boarding operations to gather data on maritime activity.

    A secondary role of the boarding team is winning hearts and minds of fishermen working close to the oil terminals, with the distribution of food parcels and much needed protective equipment such as heavy-duty gloves. These patrols go a small way in helping make the fishermen's daily lives a little easier and importantly help build on the well established relationship between the local fishermen and coalition forces in the area. This wins their trust and can help gain useful intelligence. HMS Argyll's Commanding Officer Commander Will Warrender said:

    "The potency and capabilities of the boarding teams cannot be overstated. They are my eyes and ears and provide me with the 'feeling on the streets' by gaining the trust and respect of the seamen and fishermen. From security sweeps of the large oil tankers, to protecting local fishermen from the ever present piracy threat, my boarding teams and their support here in HMS Argyll are recognised throughout the area as a force for good."


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    Le Chevre
     
  2. J_D

    J_D LE

    Doesn't say nothing about a few dodgy ship's company members!!

    Brings back memories of sitting in the buffers shack,midships, waiting for the go ahead to raid some idiotic drugs boat.
     
  3. Smith & Jones in charge? Who's having a laugh?! :D
     
  4. Goatman

    Goatman LE Book Reviewer

    Anya,

    speed reading again - that'll be the Blue Force mentioned in the article.

    Brought back memories for me of boarding sampans and Hong Kong greens in the 80s ;-)


    Names changed to protect the innocent - never sure when PTP's gonna censor/censure me again !


    Lee Shaver
    ( Lion Code 432 - " who cares who wins ?" )
     
  5. Aye Goatman :D


    But not censoring you, more the person on the PR desk at the Mystery
     
  6. Goatman

    Goatman LE Book Reviewer

    PTP, you are a yam-yam and I claim my ten Euros..... :cool: