‘Leading the Hunt’
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HMS Chiddingfold May 2016
HMS Chiddingfold April 2016
Sirs, Ma’ms, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Another month has passed and your ship has just returned back to Bahrain after an eventful month at sea in the Gulf of Oman participating in a large multi-national exercise. While the UK continues to struggle between staying in or out of Europe, and the weather struggles between staying in or out of winter (our relief crew have snow in Faslane as they conduct their pre-deployment training), we are certainly feeling the heat out here and advise any families coming out to visit us this month to bring lots of sun screen!
We are almost 70% complete in our Road to Twickenham challenge so please get online and donate generously.
Until next month, kind regards,
Lieutenant Commander S J White Royal Navy | Commanding Officer | HMS CHIDDINGFOLD | MCM2 Crew 5 ‘Leading the Hunt’
For the full news letter including graphics click on the link below
News Letter March 2016
After a busy 2 months of exercises at sea and regional engagement in Oman, March was spent alongside in Bahrain conducting a scheduled maintenance period. This could be compared to an enhanced MOT that your car gets and is incredibly important to sustain the hull which spends up to 3 years forward deployed in Bahrain thus ensuring that routine maintenance, new enhancements are fitted and defects rectified or prevented where possible.
British Forces Broadcasting Service Visit
Founded in 1943, British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) provides radio and TV programmes to Her Majesty’s Armed Forces and dependants worldwide. Coming to Bahrain to visit the RN units, they came down to the Cheery CHID for lunch on Commonwealth Day. TV and radio interviews of the crew were conducted by Ms Shirley Swain and you can listen to the interviews online at www.bfbs.com/radio/articles.
St Christopher’s School Visit
Children and parents from St Christopher’s School came to visit CHIDDINGFOLD and get a tour of the ship. 21 came onboard and enjoyed looking around especially climbing into the recompression chamber and testing the diving equipment and then climbing onto the captain’s chair on the bridge. Strangely, non of the parents were keen to stand in the way of the fire hose as their children tried it out!
CHID 3,200 mile Road to Twickenham!
3 months into our deployment and we are slowly edging towards the half way stage of the deployment and of reaching the half way mark towards our target distance of 3,200 miles by swimming, cycling, rowing and running the distance from Bahrain back to Twickenham.
A new rowing machine courtesy of HMS TEMERAIRE has been welcomed however the entire crew need to get more miles done on the static bike, and running when not at sea in order to clock up the big miles. You can sponsor us at:
As we clocked up the miles we also clocked up the prizes. We won the 3km relay race and came 1st and 3rd in the St Patrick’s Day 5km race, we won the swimming gala against our sister ship PENZANCE, and beat Bahrain Vets 6-3 at football.
A huge congratulation to Lt Cdr Andy Brown (previous CO in CHID) for being awarded the MBE and WO1 Alan Evans (previous MEO in CHID) for being awarded the QCVS in the 45th Operational Honours and Awards List. It’s great to see the MCM community recognised for the difficult and challenging job they do, especially in the conditions faced in the Gulf.
Many thanks to Sherian, Chris, Harry and Ella-Louise Webster, to Mark and Steph Smith, and all at Shoeboxes for our Heroes (SB4OH) for their kind gifts and continued support whilst we are deployed.
Finally, BZ to ET(ME)1 Plumpton, Crew 5’s RNRMC Sailor of the Month for March, following in the prestigious footsteps of AB(D)1 McClung (Jan) and ET(WE)1 Murphy (Feb). Well done to all.
Monthly Summary – February 2016
Sirs, Ma’am’s, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Greetings from your ship, HMS CHIDDINGFOLD who is now conducting her planned maintenance period alongside.
Thank you once again to all the children at the Sunday School children at St Mary’s Chiddingfold for the fantastic hand made cards, they brought many smiles to the sailors on-board, especially those of us with young children.
Monthly Summary – January 2016
January has been a very busy month as we deployed from the UK and took over Command of the ‘Cheery CHID’ settling back into the routine of operations working alongside UK and US MCMVs.
Crew 5 returns to the ‘Cheery CHID’
Leaving a wet and windy Portsmouth behind us, the Command Team departed HMS NELSON on Sat 09 Jan to fly out to the Gulf and take ownership of HMS CHIDDINGFOLD, the ship they delivered to the Gulf in late 2014. The remainder of the crew flew out on Wed 13 Jan and completed a handover from Crew 7, and have spent much of the past 3 weeks at sea conducting integration training, engineering checks and our core role of MCM and diving work.
Approximately half the sailors currently onboard were part of the original crew who took CHID out of refit, the first with the new Caterpillar diesel engines, and sailed her to the Gulf in 2014.
CHID 3,200 mile Road to Twickenham!
After the success of our LEDBURY to Ledbury charity triathlon challenge last year, we have teamed up with the RNRMC again, and the whole crew have their eyes on achieving the target of 3,157 miles before 29 Apr 16, the distance from our forward deployed base, back to Twickenham.
This weekend put another 78.6 miles on the clock as we ran the Bahrain Marathon with 2 relay teams and an individual entry. Despite having no running machine onboard to train on and not being able to run around the upperdeck, Crew 5 still managed a ‘Clean Sweep’. The entire Wardroom of 7 (including 2 YOs) plus our Cox’n got involved in the Bahrain Marathon. The XO, Lt Scott Hamer, came 1st in his age category, and the ‘bubblehead’ team came 1st in the Relay event – not bad for an MCMV!!
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‘Leading the Hunt’ in UK / US MCM Exercise
Working together and integrating as a group of ships was the key objective of this exercise, therefore training took place at sea and alongside in harbour. Sailing ahead of HMS BANGOR and USS GLADIATOR (a USN Avenger Class MCMV), CHID conducted MCM and diving trials as part of the coalition exercise, then joined forces with other units which included RFA CARDIGAN BAY. Prior to a strong ‘Shamal’ wind from the north putting the sea state out of limits for operations, CHID managed to co-ordinate the command and control of the remaining diving serials to complete the final objective involving 2 UK and 2 US diving units, prior to returning to port for the post exercise de-brief.
Back at sea for more MCM and diving, we welcomed a Bahraini Coast Guard Officer onboard who embarked for a 3 day sea ride. Witnessing first hand what life is like onboard a RN warship, his local maritime knowledge proved very useful. He celebrated his birthday onboard so in the finest traditions of the RN, the chefs made him a cake which we were all able to enjoy!
‘Roar’ the Lion joined Crew 5 at the beginning of January and will be remaining onboard throughout the deployment. He will be keeping the children at Portsmouth Grammar School Nursery updated with pictures and stories of his adventures to many exciting countries in the region. Watch out for his antics.
Example Postal Label
L(D) FROG (name)
300456789 (service number)
MCM 2 CREW 5
Remember, it’s always great to receive parcels whilst deployed, and Family and Friends can send 2kg parcels from most Royal Mail Post Offices free of charge. These boxes can contain items such as food treats (chocolate may melt!), magazines, books, toiletries, letters etc.
Don’t forgot the trusted BLUEY and E-BLUEY.
Many congratulations to our Bosun, CPO(MW) ‘Basher’ Briggs, who was selected for promotion to WO1; a fantastic achievement and very well deserved.
Finally, well done to AB(MW) Watkinson for winning £400 in the RN Sports Lottery.
HMS CHIDDINGFOLD IN BLACK SEA NATO EXERCISE
Royal Navy minehunter HMS CHIDDINGFOLD has been taking part in an annual NATO workout in the Black Sea.
HMS CHIDDINGFOLD is one of four NATO ships that took part in Exercise Breeze 2014 off the Bulgarian coast. The ships are all part of the Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group Two (SNMCMG2), one of four fleets that operate on a rotating basis.
The formation was headed by an Italian Navy frigate, ITS AVIERE, accompanied by the ITS RIMINI as well as the Turkish vessel, TCG AKCAY and the Royal Navy’s HMS CHIDDINGFOLD.
The aim of Exercise Breeze was to improve operational and tactical partnerships between participating units and commands. It was also an opportunity for NATO to exercise many of its component navies.