Minggu, Juni 13, 2010

Multi-national Auriga task group on deployment

Whilst practicing Officer of the Watch Manoeuvres in support of the joint inter-operability exercise: Auriga, off the Eastern sea board of the United States of America, the Auriga Task Group, commanded by Commodore Simon Ancona, Commander UK Strike Group, came together with other naval assets from the US and Peru operating in the area for these spectacular photographs.

Taken by Leading Airman (Photographer) Gregg Macready (41) from Liverpool, aboard a Lynx Mark 3 maritime attack helicopter of 212 Flight from 815 Naval Air Squadron based in Yeovilton, these stunning photographs show the Mission Essential Unit, the Royal Navy’s Flagship and UK’s Strike Carrier: HMS Ark Royal, surrounded by her escorts, each of which with its unique role to protect her.

Leading Airman Macready said: “It’s Great to be able to capture these images of the Task Group. We were very fortunate with the weather & sea state, all of which add to being able to capture an impressive show of force”

Ark Royal’s main weapon system is the six Ground Reconnaissance harrier GR9 jets from 1(F) Squadron, Joint Force Harrier. In addition the rotary wing elements of the embarked air group: Merlin Helicopters from 814 NAS, Sea Kings from 849 and 857 NAS and the versatile Lynx helicopters from 815 NAS which, between them, provide her with early warning from above and below the surface, including over the horizon, alongside decisive force..

Her close in weapon systems provide effective defence from fast attack craft but it is the other Units in the Task Group which provide the potency to shield HMS Ark Royal and her support ship: RFA Fort George, from direct attack – eliminating threats from aircraft, ships, torpedoes and submarines.

Usually lurking way beneath the surface remaining unseen and unheard, providing all round sub-surface defence of the Task Group is the Peruvian submarine: BAP Amgamos, who surfaced especially for the photographs.

Providing Air Defence of the Task Group is the Type-42 Destroyer: HMS Liverpool. Hunting for potential threats beneath the waves is the Royal Navy’s most potent Type-23 Anti-Submarine Warfare frigate: HMS Sutherland, with her embarked Merlin helicopter. Providing continuous support to all elements of the Task Group is the RFA Fort George commanded by Capt Dale Worthington RFA.

Other Units featured in the photographs are: the Arleigh-Burke destroyer – USS Barry, a fully paid up member of the Auriga Task Group currently under Cdre Ancona’s operational control; US Ships Leroy Grumann, Mahan, Robert G Bradley and Carr.

As the architect of the photograph, Cdre Ancona’s Chief of Staff, Commander Simon Ward, said: “Events such as this Photex provide a clear visual representation of the kind of combat power available to the Strike Group Commander in coalition operations. The ability to seamlessly integrate and operate with our main coalition ally is one of the key aims of the Auriga deployment and exercises such as the one we have just completed will pave the way for Commander UK Carrier Strike Group to exercise his role as the Coalition Expeditionary Strike Force Commander during a major exercise with US and UK forces in July”.

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