The second most senior officer in Navy Command, Vice Admiral Philip Jones CB, visited HM Naval Base Devonport, Plymouth, to meet the crews of warship and submarines and view new facilities.
The newly-appointed Fleet Commander was hosted on board the Type 23 frigate HMS Sutherland and the Trafalgar Class submarine HMS Talent alongside in Devonport Naval Base.
Vice Admiral Jones was shown the advanced sonar room, the tactical systems, wireless communications room, manoeuvring and power plant spaces and received updates from the skilled operators.
Admiral Jones said: “Its always a pleasure to visit Devonport and today’s visit was particularly interesting and valuable. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting so many of our highly professional frontline officers and sailors and gaining first hand updates from their recent operational deployments.“
He learned from Chief Petty Officer Mick Golby, 40, that the sonar was the most advanced available and could detect and identify targets and other maritime traffic as far as 40 miles away. The sonar could recognise vessel types, such as fishing, merchant and military by their own noise signatures. Such is the sonar’s sophistication that the operators could also recognise fish species and even rain at long range.
Commander John Aitken, the Commanding Officer of HMS Talent, said: “We had the honour of hosting the Fleet Commander, Vice Admiral Jones, and guided him on a tour of HMS Talent. My crew thoroughly enjoyed demonstrating their expertise and knowledge, giving the Fleet Commander a real feel of what makes HMS Talent one of the most effective submarines in the world.”
Lieutenant Commander Cuong Huynh, HMS Sutherland’s Logistics Officer said: “It was a great opportunity for HMS Sutherland to host Vice Admiral Jones today after a successful operational deployment to the Middle East and Horn of Africa last year. The visit enabled the Fleet Commander to talk to some of the ship’s company about their experience whilst away.”
Whilst in the dockyard Vice Admiral Jones also visited the construction sites for the Haslar Company accommodation block which is being built using money provided by the charity Help for Heroes. He was shown the site of the new 1 Assault Group Royal Marines training centre.
Vice Admiral Jones said: “It’s great to see so much development going on in Devonport. These new state-of-the -art facilities will really enhance the Naval Base’s capabilities and I look forward to returning later this year to see them completed and fully functioning.”