On Wednesday 1st July 2020, the Surface and Submarine Task Force involved in this year's Exercise Dynamic Mongoose met off the coast of Iceland. Pictured is Norwegion Submarine HNoMS Utsira (S 310). HMS Kent and her sister ship HMS Westminster met with the USS Roosevelt, USS Indiana, HNOMS Otto Sverdrop, HNOMS Utsira, HMCS Frederiction, FGS U36, and FS Casabianca Rouge off the Icelandic coast during a dark and overcast Thursday afternoon. Exercise Dynamic Mongoose will see the sister ships from HMNB Portsmouth participate along with other countries including Iceland, Norway and Canada during extensive serials practicing the art of close proximity sailing, anti-submarine warfare drills, surface engagement drills (quickdraw exercises) and also photographic exercises showing all units from the air. HMS Kent has been involved in a wide array of operations over the last three months, from exercising with the Americans in the Arctic Circle, taking part in Exercise BALTOPS 20 with numerous NATO units to working alongside HMS Queen Elizabeth in the North Sea.
Ministry of Defence

NATO exercise Dynamic Mongoose started in the High North on 29 June 2020

On Wednesday 1st July 2020, the Surface and Submarine Task Force involved in this year’s Exercise Dynamic Mongoose met off the coast of Iceland. Pictured is Norwegion Submarine HNoMS Utsira (S 310). HMS Kent and her sister ship HMS Westminster met with the USS Roosevelt, USS Indiana, HNOMS Otto Sverdrop, HNOMS Utsira, HMCS Frederiction, FGS U36, and FS Casabianca Rouge [Read More …]

Images show ZZ336, the VIP Voyager, landing and taxiing back to its bay at RAF Brize Norton after completing its first ever Quick Reaction Alert Mission. TYPOONS from RAF Lossiemouth have today been scrambled to intercept Russian long-range aircraft north of Scotland. Russian aircraft approached the UK Flight Information Region (FIR), north of the Scottish coast. To support the Typhoons, a Voyager aircraft from RAF Brize Norton was also launched to conduct Air to Air Refuelling for the Typhoons. This is standard procedure and allows the Typhoons to extend their time in the air. Today the Voyager allocated to this task, was the recently returned to service VIP configured aircraft. This Voyager has now joined the rotation of tanker aircraft that are held on standby to support the UK’s Quick Reaction Alert mission as conducted by the RAF. This scramble has been caused by the Russian aircraft entering the UK FIR, the UK’s controlled zone of international airspace. This area of International airspace is monitoring to ensure the safe passage for all other aircraft, including civilian transatlantic airliners that are under UK civilian air traffic control. A pilot from 10/101 Sqn that conducted the intercept said: “This was a routine intercept for us as we train to make sure it is a seamless process. It was great to see the Voyager in its new paint scheme but in an operational setting” The Russian aircraft were/was monitored throughout their flight by the National Air and Space Operations Centre at RAF High Wycombe and the Air Surveillance and Control System at RAF Boulmer. Activity was coordinated closely with NATO allies, including the NATO Combined Air Operations Centre at Uedem in Germany. Air Vice Marshal Duguid, Air Officer Commanding 11 Group said: “The interception by RAF Typhoons of Russian military aircraft in the UK FIR demonstrates our continuing resolve to police, protect and defend our airspace 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.” He added: ?
Ministry of Defence

RAF TYPHOONS MONITOR RUSSIAN AIRCRAFT AS VIP VOYAGER RETURNS TO OPERATIONAL DUTY

Images show ZZ336, the VIP Voyager, landing and taxiing back to its bay at RAF Brize Norton after completing its first ever Quick Reaction Alert Mission. TYPOONS from RAF Lossiemouth have today been scrambled to intercept Russian long-range aircraft north of Scotland. Russian aircraft approached the UK Flight Information Region (FIR), north of the Scottish coast. To support the Typhoons, [Read More …]

ROYAL MARINES NEW UNIFORM 2020 Photographed are Royal Marines showcasing the new Commando Uniform 2020 on 28th May 2020. Royal Marines will be kitted out with a brand-new uniform as the commandos undergo their most significant transformation and rebranding since World War Two. The elite commandos of the Royal Navy are undertaking a notable development project – known as the Future Commando Force programme – which will see an overhaul of the way the Green Berets operate. This will involve more Royal Marines operating from the sea as high-readiness troops, forward deployed and always ready to react, whether that’s for war-fighting, specific combat missions such as commando raids, or providing humanitarian assistance. As part of this restructuring, the Royal Marines will have a new look that is in-keeping with the maritime traditions of the Corps but also gives recognition to their commando forebears of World War Two. As a clear indication of the Royal Marines’ integration with the Royal Navy, the White Ensign features on one sleeve with the iconic Fairbairn Sykes Dagger patch stitched to the other to signify attachment to 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines. Complementing that is the traditional Royal Marines Commando insignia, which will return to the design first worn by commandos when they launched daring raids into Nazi-occupied Europe. The flash with red writing and navy-blue background will be worn once again, as the commandos evolve to conduct more raids from the sea, persistently deployed to counter the threats of the modern-day battlefield. Not only does the uniform embrace the Royal Marines’ strong, renowned identity, it naturally has real-world performance benefits too. The NATO procured uniform – which is made by USA-based firm Crye Precision – is 17 per cent lighter weight, has three-times higher tear-strength, is 60 per cent faster-drying and four-times more breathable than the typical 50/50 cotton/nylon kit.
Ministry of Defence

Royal Marines showcasing the new Commando Uniform 2020

ROYAL MARINES NEW UNIFORM 2020 Photographed are Royal Marines showcasing the new Commando Uniform 2020 on 28th May 2020. Royal Marines will be kitted out with a brand-new uniform as the commandos undergo their most significant transformation and rebranding since World War Two. The elite commandos of the Royal Navy are undertaking a notable development project – known as the [Read More …]

The mighty HMS Queen Elizabeth arriving back in Portsmouth on 02 July 2020 after 10 weeks at sea. She was conducting Operational Sea Training with F-35B Lightning II jets from the Royal Air Force 617 Sqn and Merlin helicopters from 820 Naval Air Squadron.
Ministry of Defence

HMS Queen Elizabeth back in Portsmouth

The mighty HMS Queen Elizabeth arriving back in Portsmouth on 02 July 2020 after 10 weeks at sea. She was conducting Operational Sea Training with F-35B Lightning II jets from the Royal Air Force 617 Sqn and Merlin helicopters from 820 Naval Air Squadron. All photos and text are © Crown copyright 2020

Following the arrival of the RAF VIP Voyager “Vespina” at its base at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire on Thursday 25th June 2021, the aircraft undertook its first operational tasking today Friday 26th June 2021, by tanking RAF Lightning and Typhoon fighters during Exercise CRIMSON OCEAN. After several weeks repainting, the Voyager was confirmed ready to undertake its full operational role of Air-to-Air Refuelling and personnel transport alongside the rest of the RAF Voyager fleet. Taking off from RAF Brize Norton, the aircraft spent most of the day airborne to provide several refuelling stops for the fighters taking part in the joint RAF and Royal Navy exercise. This refuelliung occured off the North East coast of the United Kingdom. Exercise CRIMSON OCEAN allows the Royal Navy and RAF to train and hone their ability to deliver routine fighter and helicopter operations in a range of environments from the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. Lightning aircraft from 617 Squadron have been onboard the carrier since 9 July when they left their base at RAF Marham in Norfolk. The aircraft, known as Vespina is also referred to as 'ZZ336', its military registration number, was previously visually indistinguishable from the rest of the RAF Voyager Fleet. The new paint scheme will better reflect its VIP mission and contribution to ‘Global Britain’. The paintwork concludes a refurbishment stemming from the 2015 SDSR. THE TYPHOON WAS FROM 9 SQN BASED AT RAF LOSSIEMOUTH. F35 AIRCRAFT FROM 617 SQN, RAF MARHAM. For more information, please contact: Sqn Ldr Toby Watkins – toby.watkins107@mod.gov.uk © MoD Crown Copyright 2020
Ministry of Defence

VIP RAF VOYAGER RETURNS TO OPERATIONAL DUTIES

Following the arrival of the RAF VIP Voyager “Vespina” at its base at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire on Thursday 25th June 2021, the aircraft undertook its first operational tasking today Friday 26th June 2021, by tanking RAF Lightning and Typhoon fighters during Exercise CRIMSON OCEAN. After several weeks repainting, the Voyager was confirmed ready to undertake its full operational [Read More …]