Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tireless lives up to her name on ten-month tour of duty

THIS is something you’ve not seen since July 9 last year: HMS Tireless in sight of Plymouth Hoe.
The submarine returned home to Devonport yesterday after the longest deployment by a Royal Navy submarine in ten years.
Some 150 loved ones and a Royal Marines band welcomed the nuclear submarine home after 307 days away from the UK.
Since sailing Tireless has spent 253 days at sea, mostly carrying out counter-piracy/terrorism/smuggling operations east of Suez – the first time the submarine has passed through the legendary canal.
The nature of much of her work meant her 130-strong crew had no contact with families at home and operated in punishing conditions.
In addition to her intelligence gathering missions, the Trafalgar-class submarine worked with other Allied naval forces in the Indian Ocean.

The boat provided protection for France’s flagship Charles de Gaulle and her battle group as the carrier launched jets for operations over Afghanistan.
It’s the first time a British submarine has been asked to perform the role following last year’s Anglo-French defence agreement signed by Prime Minister David Cameron and his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy.
Tireless also took part in a major international exercise in the Gulf of Oman with the French, Americans and Australians as the ships and Tireless played ‘cat and mouse’.
East of Suez, temperatures in the engine room has rarely dropped below 48ºC and on occasions touched 60ºC during patrols which lasted up to six weeks at a time.
The submarine enjoyed eight visits to Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates – where she spent Christmas – plus Goa in India and Souda Bay in Crete.
During the lengthy deployment, the boat celebrated her 25th birthday – with a cake, of course – and clocked up more than 35,000 miles, while her crew have devoured 33,160 sausages, 16,800 eggs, 54,000 rashers of bacon and 16 tonnes of spuds, while Tireless’ specialist plants have produced enough fresh water to make 3.3 million cups of tea.
“At over ten months this has been the longest submarine deployment in recent history – and one of which the ship’s company are justifiably proud,” said Tireless’ Commanding Officer Cdr Jason Clay. “In the current climate, the Royal Navy is working harder than ever and HMS Tireless is no exception.
“We’re absolutely delighted to see so many family and friends are making the trip to Devonport to welcome us back ­­– without their support, our job would be much more difficult.
“Despite the time spent away, it will be business as usual from tomorrow to get the boat ready for operations in the autumn.”


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