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Royal Navy on active service in Afghanistan


Aye Tentoes,

But note that I stated the other arms of the services; in the certainty that the RM are (inextricably I hope), a part of the RN.

(Incidently - Talking with a few Royals at the Eastney Frankton event recently they had all enjoyed, and missed, their ship's detachment opportunities too...)


War Hero

Aye Tentoes,

But note that I stated the other arms of the services; in the certainty that the RM are (inextricably I hope), a part of the RN.

(Incidently - Talking with a few Royals at the Eastney Frankton event recently they had all enjoyed, and missed, their ship's detachment opportunities too...)

Indeed the Corps is a "branch" of the Senior Service! ^_~ I will not be so indecent as to crayon anymore over this thread, other that to add i enjoyed my time on a Det, as did most of the lads I know that did one. Even Bootnecks enjoy a swan draft! :razz:
Wishing all our deployed forces seasons greetings and a safe return.

MSST CPO Paul Simpson in Afghanistan Dec 2012.jpg
CPO Paul Simpson at Lashkar Gah,
Helmand Province, Afghanistan

(Press Association photo by Joe Giddens/PA Wire)

Portsmouth News 26 Dec 2012 said:
OPENING up presents sent by his family back in Portsmouth, Chief Petty Officer Paul Simpson is one of many servicemen and women who celebrated Christmas far from home.

CPO Simpson is working at main operating base Lashkar Gah in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, as part of the Military Stabilisation Support Team. He joins thousands of sailors and Royal Marines who are serving away from home over the Christmas period...
Another story with a festive slant:

Lt Cdr Lloyd Shanahan RN.jpg
Lt Cdr Lloyd Shanahan RN

This is Somerset 24 Dec 2012 said:
For one single day every year, the man in the red coat with white trim is the busiest chap on the planet. But who is standing by to help Santa through any tough times as he flies his way through the snows, wind, rain and chill of Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England?

At 8am on Christmas Eve, Lieutenant Commander Lloyd Shanahan from South Petherton near Yeovil, along with three crew members, stepped forward to ensure that, whatever happens, Father Christmas will make it through. For pilot Lloyd is one of the four-strong Royal Navy search and rescue crew on duty today during this crucial delivery evening and they take their job very seriously...

All the aircrew at HMS Gannet are Royal Navy or Royal Marines personnel who have served time on the frontline, bringing years of cool-headed bravery, experience and skill to their search and rescue duties.

And Lloyd is no different. Joining the Royal Navy in 1996 as an aircraft engineer, he began pilot training in 2001. Lloyd deployed as an engineer to Bosnia twice, and, as a pilot, he has undertaken 3 three tours of Iraq as a pilot and two tours of Afghanistan. He was the final Commando Sea King Operational Commander out of Camp Bastion, Afghanistan. He joined search and rescue at HMS Gannet in June this year...
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A somewhat tenuous link but too good a story to miss:

Heather Jeffrey and Jamie Tregate with baby girl.jpg

Portsmouth News 1 Jan 2013 said:
AS a senior Royal Navy nursing officer, Heather Jaffrey is used to the high drama of war zones. But nothing could have prepared her for the bundle of joy she and her partner Jamie Tregale have named Iona Louise.

Their 8lb 3oz baby was the first child born on New Year’s Day at Queen Alexandra Hospital’s labour ward. There was drama when complications meant doctors had to perform an emergency caesarean section at 2.20am, but mother and baby are doing fine...

Following a six-month tour of Afghanistan in 2011, where Heather was in charge of the emergency department, the couple decided to try for a baby and just months later she was pregnant. She said: ‘I certainly don’t think I could leave her and go out to a war zone now.

‘I loved being in Afghanistan – it was a phenomenal tour, but your priorities change.’...
Another Afghanistan veteran courtesy of Soleil:

Lt Cdr Brian Meadows RN.jpg

Barry & District News 3 Jan 2013 said:
A ROYAL Naval Reserve Officer from Barry has been recognised by Her Majesty the Queen in the 2013 New Year Honours list.

Lieutenant Commander Brian Meadows, a Media Operations Officer at the Royal Naval Reserve Unit HMS Cambria in Sully - who is currently on detachment at the Navy Command Headquarters in Portsmouth - has been appointed as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE), in recognition of his outstanding performance throughout his service in both the Royal Navy and Royal Navy Reserve...

This time last year Brian was serving with the United States Second Marine Expeditionary Force in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He has also completed operational tours in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Bahrain.
Ironically enough, the following article, first highlighted by angrydoc here, reinforces the point I made in the very first post of this thread, i.e. that many people (including journalists who should know better) are unaware of the presence of Royal Navy personnel in Afghanistan and assume it is the sole preserve of the Army and Royal Air Force.

Plymouth Herald 2 Jan 2013 said:
AN ARMY medic (sic) has been named in the New Year Honours list for his work helping injured soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Surgeon Commander Anthony Lambert, who is based at Derriford Hospital as a general surgeon, has been appointed OBE by the Queen in recognition of his work at home and abroad.

Cdr Lambert, who returned from his latest two-month tour of Afghanistan in August 2011, said he was shocked at the news of his royal honour...


War Hero
Ironically enough, the following article, first highlighted by angrydoc here, reinforces the point I made in the very first post of this thread, i.e. that many people (including journalists who should know better) are unaware of the presence of Royal Navy personnel in Afghanistan and assume it is the sole preserve of the Army and Royal Air Force.
If he was shocked by getting the award how shocked was he to find out he was now in the Army?
LS Derek Parsons in Afghanistan.jpg

Royal Navy website 2 Jan 2013 said:
A Reservist from HMS Sherwood in Nottingham is the first Royal Naval Reserve Rating to be mobilised to Afghanistan in an Information Operations role. Leading Seaman Derek Parsons, 44, from Ripley in Derbyshire, has spent much of 2012 mobilised with 15 (UK) Psychological Operation Group (15 POG), including six months on active service based at Lashkar Gah in Helmand Province.

15 POG is responsible for providing support to British Forces and is part of 1 Military Intelligence Brigade. As a tri-service unit, it is formed from specialist personnel drawn from across the UK’s Armed Forces – both Regular and Reserves...

Commando fliers of 847 Naval Air Squadron.jpg
RN website 15 Jan 2013 said:
The commando fliers of 847 Naval Air Squadron have left Somerset to begin a five-month tour of duty in support of the Royal Marines and other Allied troops in Afghanistan. It’s the final time the squadron will fly the trusty Lynx on active service. Once they return from Helmand in the spring, they’ll begin converting to its successor, the Wildcat...
Warrant Officer 1 David Rowlands
(RN website photo)

RN website 18 Jan 2013 said:
Navy Air Engineer, Warrant Officer 1 David Rowlands, from 78 Squadron RAF Benson, has been awarded the MBE in the New Years Honours List 2013. WO Rowlands is currently part of a Royal Navy team based at RAF Benson Oxfordshire, preparing for the transition of Merlin MK3 and MK3A aircraft from RAF to RN ownership. Previously based with Commando Helicopter Force (CHF) at RNAS Yeovilton, Somerset as the Operational Fleet Controller he was responsible the administration, allocation and movements of 37 Sea King helicopters.

He was commended for making an invaluable contribution over a long and distinguished career, his outstanding knowledge and management skills have ensured the success of Naval rotary wing assets deployed in Afghanistan and on world wide Exercises...

Spending many years within the squadrons of CHF, he has spent most of his career on Operations in extremely diverse locations such as Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan...
And now for something completely different:

RN personnel in Norway Jan 2013.jpg

RN website 31 Jan 2013 said:
While most pilots would be happier flying over this type of terrain, personnel from Commando Helicopter Force are getting firmly entrenched in freezing Arctic Circle conditions. Taking part in arctic and mountain training, aircrew and support personnel from 845 Naval Air Squadron are on exercise in Norway for the next few months.

With CHF’s enduring commitment to operations in Afghanistan, the practice of landing their Sea King helicopters in the snow is similar to the desert where they have to touch down in dust and sand. Based at Royal Norwegian Air Force Base Bardufoss the aim is to teach the Sea King crews – known as Junglies following their operations in the jungles of Borneo – how to safely operate in the hazardous terrain...
More preparations for their next HERRICK deployment.

CHF flyers in Bavarian Alps.jpg

Royal Navy website 5 Feb 2013 said:
Three Commando Helicopter Force Sea Kings have decamped from their base in Somerset to southern Germany to give air and ground crews a chance to hone their mountain skills. The men and women from 848 Naval Air Squadron are spending a fortnight at Penzling, west of Munich, where they’ll learn the skills and techniques which are vital to CHF’s mission in Afghanistan...

From Penzing they are carrying out valley flying, pinnacle and ridge approaches and, importantly, wind-finding and assessment techniques. All these sorties are identical to those carried out by Commando Helicopter Force front-line crews currently flying in Afghanistan...
The author is an ex-RN buddy and I'm looking forward to receiving my copy of his book. RN MCD Officers and CDs have served in similar roles.


Bookpal said:
This is the true narrative of a military diver and bomb disposal operator who, after a dynamic career being one of the select few British Royal Navy Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving (MCD) specialists, finds himself Far From Breaking Waves in the land locked country of Afghanistan serving as a member of the Royal Australian Navy. There are even fewer Australian MCDs. The book chronicles his time based in the dangerous war torn city of Kabul as ISAF's Chief of Counter Improvised Explosive Device Exploitation, and his voyage through an exciting adventure packed career to get there.

This book only ships to addresses in Australia at the moment but if you live elsewhere and want a copy, send an email to this address and 'Brad' will do his best to oblige: [email protected] (note there is an underscore between Bradley and Vincent). The book will also be available on iTunes and Kindle in the near future.
I have seen little publicity for this worthy event. Twelve of the 13 participating Royal Navy personnel (link) have completed between one and three tours in Afghanistan.

RNMS Stretcher Carry 2013.jpg

On the 4th April 2013 a small group of Royal Navy Medical Services personnel will walk from RCDM in Birmingham to Hasler Company in Plymouth via DMRC Headley Court covering more than 360 miles in 14 days and all carrying a stretcher to raise money and awareness for service charities that support injured Royal Navy & Royal Marine servicemen and women, and veterans.

Lt Jack Nicholson will attempt to walk every mile at one end of the stretcher with a few friends & colleagues taking turns at the other end throughout the route, averaging out at approximately a marathon every day for 2 weeks.

Plese give them your support here.
RN website 19 Mar 2013 said:
847 Naval Air Squadron have once again deployed to Afghanistan to provide the critical task of protecting troop movements in and around Helmand province. The small and highly agile Lynx helicopters are perfectly suited to being the ‘eyes in the sky’, protecting the larger Chinook helicopters as they shuttle the troops to where they need to be in the area of operation...

Even though the Lynx helicopters in Afghanistan belong to the Army, the crews flying and operating them are Royal Navy. They are ideally suited to do this and have trained hard for their deployment...
QGM for RN Minewarfare & Clearance Diving Officer (MCDO)

The headline of this article doesn't refer to the RN MCDO who is mentioned second:

Royal Navy explosives expert Lieutenant Commander Al Nekrews who
defused a series of complex devices in Afghanistan during a 16-hour
period, despite soaring temperatures and threat of attack

(MoD photo)

Daily Telegraph 22 Mar 2013 said:
Bomb expert wins medal for work in Afghanistan

A Royal Navy explosives expert who defused a series of complex devices in Afghanistan during a 16-hour period, despite soaring temperatures and threat of attack, has been awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal.

Lieutenant Commander Al Nekrews, 40, is the Navy’s first ever high-threat improvised explosive device (IED) operator and was deployed to Afghanistan for seven months last year where he led a four-man team in Nahr-e Saraj, one of the busiest districts. On May 25, Lt-Cdr Nekrews, from Wythenshawe, Manchester, and his team were dispatched to the scene of an explosion that had injured a British soldier and discovered what appeared to be a rug draped over barbed wire protecting a ditch.

He said: “Inside the rug were two devices configured in an unusual manner. I had to make a manual approach to defuse the devices. It took 16 hours over two days. We got around three hours sleep. It was reaching about 40 degrees in temperature and we were under constant threat of attacks.”

Once the devices were defused, Lt-Cdr Nekrews handed them over for intelligence gathering purposes. A clearance diver by trade, Lt-Cdr Nekrews joined the Navy 24 years ago as a rating before being commissioned in 2002. Divers are the Navy’s maritime explosive ordnance disposal experts but they can also be deployed on land operations such as Afghanistan.

On receiving the medal, he said: “It was quite surreal. I am really proud of what I have achieved and my family are obviously all delighted as well. I should also praise the efforts of my team, Leading Diver Craig Waghorn and Sergeant Craig Simpson. It was invaluable to have that support.’’

The Queen’s Gallantry Medal is one level below the George Medal and is awarded to military personnel for acts of exemplary bravery that were not in the presence of the enemy.
A more comprehensive article, including pre-deployment photos, covering the same story on the Royal Navy website here:

Also see this article about an Engineer officer:

RN website 22 Mar 2013 said:
Royal Navy Captain has been awarded an OBE for his efforts in helping to forge closer links with the Afghan Government. Captain Jim Higham RN headed up the International Security Assistance Force’s Key Leader Engagement Team in Kabul, where he helped corral the efforts of the international community in building more effective links with President Hamid Karzai and the Afghan Government...
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RPO Lee Howells.jpg

Burton Mail 1 Apr 2013 said:
A FORMER Burton and South Derbyshire College student has been honoured for his contribution to the UK’s war effort in Afghanistan.

Regulating petty officer (RPO) Lee Howells, who attended the college’s first pre-uniformed services course and now lives in Swadlincote, received an operational service medal following six-month tour of duty...

Surg Cdr Mike Terry RN.jpg

Isle of Wight Mail 25 Mar 2013 said:
SURGEON COMMANDER Mike Terry a Royal Navy general surgeon who operates at St Mary’s Hospital on the Isle of Wight deployed to Afghanistan this month to deliver life saving surgical treatment to military personnel.

The surgeon joined the Royal Navy in November 2000 after 18 years in the Royal Australian Navy Reserves and has previously worked in the National Health Service in Portsmouth, Plymouth, Oxford, Edinburgh, Margate and Lancaster. This well travelled Surgeon Commander has plenty of operational experience, having previously deployed 3 times to Iraq, taken part in medical support to Counter Piracy Operations, and served on the aircraft carriers ARK ROYAL, ILLUSTRIOUS, INVINCIBLE...
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