Russian submariners train at Gosport


British, Russian sailors conduct joint submarine rescue training

MOSCOW. Dec 12 (Interfax) - For the first time ever, officers from the Russian Navy have completed Submarine Escape Training with the Royal Navy (RN) at Fort Blockhouse, Gosport.
Invited by the UK's Ministry of Defense, five Russian officers from Moscow and Saint Petersburg received five days of specialist submarine escape and rescue training, including an ascent from a depth of 30 meters. The visit also provided a useful forum for joint discussions with the Russian team adding valuable input and expertise.
Lieutenant Commander Bob Mannion, Officer in Charge of the SETT, said: "We have been delighted to host our Russian colleagues and hope they have learnt something of value during their time with us. Equally we have benefited from hearing of their experiences."
Lieutenant Commander Eamonn Grennan, Assistant Naval Attache, Moscow, said: "The Russian Navy and Royal Navy have been co-operating very successfully for many years. This is just the latest event in a busy program of bilateral naval interaction and long may it continue."
The visit is the latest bilateral meeting in the Anglo-Russian naval co-operation program that includes staff talks, information exchange and practical training. The two navies have already co-operated actively in this area, and one of the Russian team present was involved in the rescue operation of the Russian rescue vessel Priz AS-28 in August 2005, when the RN provided active support to this operation by sending the SCORPIO remotely operated vehicle (ROV).


I ended up chatting to them a bit. Pretty decent guys - very nice vodka (not that I had any)!

Managed to sort of put my foot in it though - when they were over the whole Polonium thing was kicking off and I managed to come into breakfast and put my newspaper down on my way to get coffee. Unfortunately I later discovered I'd left the paper facing the Russians with the headline "KGB involved in London killing" (or words to that effect). They saw the funny side though.
A good move for both our countries. They learn from the best with the best and we win hearts and minds. They might have something to teach us in the course of events; who knows.

In years to come, we might benefit from not keeping Ivan at a distance. The mutual respect and understanding argument. Now regarding their rotting N-boat fleet; will they let us help them?
It's not the first time the Russians have been to Gosport.
In the early nineties I was on HMS Ursula when we played host to a Russian Kilo class boat alongside at Dolphin.
The senior officers got shown around Portsmouth and Devonport, the ratings we took to Emmas'.
Not sure if we won or wasted any hearts or minds. Their 1L ended up in Haslar after an angina attack, if I remember rightly.