Long-serving sailor Warrant Officer (1) Nick Payne has been presented with an award marking his invaluable contribution to the Royal Navy’s worldwide operations.
Rear Admiral Duncan Potts, (Commander United Kingdom Maritime Force) presented Nick Payne (MBE), with the clasp to his Long Service and Good Conduct medal – marking 30 years of unblemished, dedicated service.
Nick (an above water warfare radar specialist) is the executive warrant officer in the Plymouth warship HMS Montrose, the most senior non-commissioned officer who is the direct link with the ranks and the commanding officer.
He joined HMS Montrose 15 months ago as the executive warrant officer and has been a huge asset for the ship during a very busy operational schedule, a highlight being a trip to the Falkland Islands, which, coincidentally, is where his son Ben has just arrived having been drafted to the survey ship HMS Protector in the South Atlantic.
Married to Nikki, he lives in South Devon with their daughter Laura. He joined the Royal Navy in 1982 at the age of 19 and spent the whole of his early career in Type 42 destroyers, joining HMS Cardiff after initial training in 1983, then serving in HMS Gloucester, HMS Southampton and finally as the radar chief in HMS Liverpool.
After a spell instructing at the shore establishment HMS Dryad in Portsmouth, he returned to sea in the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious, before being chosen to serve at Flag Officer Sea Training in Plymouth as a warrant officer.
Nick served with the mine counter measures squadron as deputy staff operations officer, working in both Portsmouth and the Arabian Gulf. He provided vital support to the mine countermeasures commander and received an MBE for his efforts in implementing the six-monthly rotation of personnel supporting the mine
Rear Admiral Potts said: “It is a great privilege for me to present the clasp to the Long Service & Good Conduct Medal. On behalf of the Royal Navy and the nation I thank you for your 30 years of dedicated service.”
HMS Montrose captain, Commander James Parkin, said: “30 years of dedicated and professional service to the country and RN is a significant milestone that few in the Service manage. Mr Payne is already a superb role model for sailors in Montrose, I hope this award will encourage and inspire them aspire to his achievement.”
HMS Montrose is training in UK waters to be ready for any future tasking. The ship is a Type 23 Duke Class frigate with a crew of 185 men and women. Although designed primarily for the anti-submarine warfare role, the ship a general purpose frigate fitted the latest sonar, radar and communications systems. HMS Montrose carries a Lynx helicopter and Sting Ray torpedo. Air defence is provided by a vertical-launch Sea Wolf weapon system. Surface armaments include the Harpoon missile and the 4.5inch gun for naval fire support.