UK: Navy’s Most Senior Officer Visits RFA Mounts Bay
The Navy’s most senior officer toured the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s large amphibious vessel and thanked Captain Kevin Rimell and his Ship’s company for providing the large, highly versatile, and accommodating and yet secure logistics hub for the people deployed to this impressive security operation and all the myriad force elements within. The First Sea Lord also met the Harbourmaster, Captain Mike Shipley, and Royal Navy Harbour Control Officers.
A multi purpose port within a port
The towering ship RFA Mounts Bay looms large over the pier in Portland on which she is berthed. She has enormous flexibility. With embarked Royal Marines from 43 Commando she is able to operate as a highly secure zone within the wider port area. The ship can also provide a mini heli-port on the flight deck, and she has vast internal dock and huge vehicle deck space within. When the ship is docked down, smaller inflatable boats and passenger craft operate to and from the cavernous docks within the ship.
The ship is capable of accommodating hundreds of embarked forces in her primary role which is to deliver the Armed Forces, either, Navy, Army, Royal Marines and their equipment to the shores of a troubled land and bring security and safety to those in need of protection.
The Royals’ Hotel, Police station and gym
At the 2012 Olympics in Portland Harbour, the ship is multi-tasking to a whole new level – it is a hive of activity with Police Officers and military personnel from forces or units drawn from all over the country all passing through the ship on their way out to sea. Royal Marines have occupied the ship literally, filling every available bunk space on board and munching their way through enormous quantities of energy packed dinners. By day they operate their powerful Offshore Raiding craft, inflatable boats and landing craft at sea and at night can be found powering away in the gym to improve their fitness levels or running furiously around the steep rocky hills of Portland.
On completion of his tour of the ship, Admiral Stanhope checked in with the other units of the Maritime Force deployed close to the large RFA including the Patrol vessels moored alongside. The First Sea Lord also returned later to HMS Bulwark the Royal Navy’s Flagship which is at sea off the Dorset coast for the duration of the Olympic Games providing the Maritime headquarters afloat in support of Dorset’s policing and security plan.
Naval Today Staff, August 7, 2012; Image: Royal Navy