June 17, 2020 – HMS Tyne have completed two days of training with LÉ George Bernard Shaw from the Irish Defence Force in the Celtic Sea.
The exercises strengthened ties between the navies, as the two patrol vessels worked together on navigation skills and carried out a transfer of supplies from one ship to another.
“This was a great opportunity to practise working in company with other ships, an opportunity we don’t often have within the Overseas Patrol Squadron due to our routine patrol tasking,” said Lieutenant Ryan Grieg, HMS Tyne’s Navigating Officer.
LÉ George Bernard Shaw, a Samuel Beckett-class offshore patrol vessel, works on maritime security operations, assisting Irish Civil Authorities and carries out fishery protection in the Irish Exclusive Economic Zone.
The Irish ship has very similar responsibilities to Portsmouth-based Tyne, which is on patrol in the waters around the UK for much of the year, carrying out a variety of missions.
The meet up between the ships took place off the south coast of Ireland and began with Officer of the Watch maneuvers designed to test their abilities to communicate proficiently and maneuver in close proximity to each other, during the day and at night.
Following that, the two patrol vessels carried out Replenishment at Sea – abbreviated to RAS in everyday “navyspeak” – training. This transfer of stores requires skillful seamanship and tactical communications from both ships to safely and successfully maneuver alongside and transfer stores.
“It’s great to practice our RAS skills, which is an evolution River-class ships don’t normally get to practice,” Leading Seaman Harry Perks, a communications specialist, said.
Before both ships parted to continue their respective patrolling missions, the warships carried out navigation exercises and passed over a small token of appreciation to mark the meeting.
All of the training was carried out with Covid-19 restrictions in place.
HMS Tyne’s Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Richard Skelton said: “Royal Navy Offshore Patrol Vessels spend around 320 days a year at sea, and most of it operating on our own.
“So, the opportunity to spend some time in company with our partners from the Irish Defence Force and learn how they carry out many of the same tasks that we do has been a real pleasure.
“At the end of this exercise I am pleased to say that we have improved our ability to operate together and, as importantly, that we have strengthened our long standing ties.”