The last week has seen us continue with our trials with satisfactory results for our main air search radar. We had a variety of aircraft from Royal Navy Air Station Culdrose flying up to 20,000 ft over the ship while we tracked them. This week has been the first of three and a half that Richmond is spending at sea conducting trials. She is looking particularly splendid at the moment. Runs ashore that we were hoping to get in Northern Ireland and Scotland have sadly had to be dropped because of the problems and repairs we had to make and thus tightened the programme. However, for the moment, we are at sea for another two weeks and continuing to conduct trials.
While the whole ship’s company might not get a run ashore for this period at sea a small detachment of Ship’s Company have been lucky enough to go hiking for a day in the Scottish Highlands and we are able to navigate within her beautiful Lochs testing the magnetic signature that the ship gives off and how much noise our machinery makes in the water. These are both important features for an anti-submarine platform such as Richmond. Once we have completed this extensive trials period we will have a two-week defect rectification period before the ship’s company goes for some well deserved summer leave.
HMS Richmond has a ships company of 180 people predominantly spread across four departments: Warfare, Marine Engineering, Weapon Engineering and Logistics. When we deploy that increases to about 200 as we have additional detachments such as a Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Flight Team and Royal Marine Boarding Team. The down time on board ship that we do get is typically up to the individual. Many enjoy keeping up with their fitness and we have a dedicated Physical Training Instructor on board who conducts circuit training twice a day or simply enjoy spending time with their ship mates who they may not see while at work. We do conduct whole ship social activities such as flight deck movies as well as flight deck sports and even BBQs.
Ben Manktelow, LT RN