Sky Views: Tanker crisis requires decisive action on Iran or UK will be seen as soft target | World News | Sky News

Image result for royal navy frigate hms montrose
Pictured is the HMS Montrose, a Type 23 (Duke class) frigate of the Royal Navy which successfully fended off an Iranian attempt to board a tanker a week ago, but was too far away to intervene in time, this time (the tanker ignored radio instructions from the Montrose, which did not help). Montrose is the only warship Britain currently has in the Gulf, to cover the 90-mile Strait of Homuz.

Source: Sky Views: Tanker crisis requires decisive action on Iran or UK will be seen as soft target | World News | Sky News

An increasingly belligerent Iran has now seized a British tanker, and the UK and its Royal Navy seems, to all appearances, to be almost helpless to respond, or at least to respond promptly, sufficiently, and effectively.

“Another factor looming large over all response options must be the reality that the Royal Navy no longer has sufficient warships to dedicate to escorting maritime traffic through the Gulf and at the same time maintain its other commitments around the world.

“I know such an operation would be done as part of an alliance but it is troubling that a maritime nation like the UK, which is also a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, is no longer able to offer even the semblance of a sovereign capability to protect its interests at sea.”

Indeed! The author of this piece continues, Continue reading “Sky Views: Tanker crisis requires decisive action on Iran or UK will be seen as soft target | World News | Sky News”

Update / follow-up to “Heroic ‘Wren’ wins Military Cross”

Warning:

Don’t read this if you want to keep your nice, warm glow on.

Continue reading “Update / follow-up to “Heroic ‘Wren’ wins Military Cross””

Heroic “Wren” wins Military Cross (UK) for exemplary courage under fire

Source: 100 Year Challenge | Facebook

I post (rather sadly) a lot of fairly depressing stuff on here, mainly because there’s a lot of depressing stuff happening, and people need to know about it: awareness is the first step toward change.

But it’s nice to every once in a while be able to post a “feel-good” piece, and this is one:

Imagine choking on your own blood, dying in the Afghan sand, and as you glance up for what may be the last time, you suddenly seeing this 5-foot-nothin’ vision – a veritable angel in human form – sprinting through heavy machine-gun fire and exploding rockets to save your life!

As the linked post puts it,

“‘I promised my friends and comrades I’d be their medic,’ she said. ‘I promised I’d be there if they ever needed me. They needed me that day – so when the call came, that’s just what I did.’

“Kate, from Whitleigh, Plymouth, stepped into the history books as only the second woman to be awarded the MC [Military Cross], one of Britain’s highest gallantry awards, as well as becoming the only MC Wren…

“Her citation read: ‘Under fire and under pressure her commitment and courage were inspirational and made the difference between life and death.'”

[Note: “Wren” is the popular term for a member of the Women’s Royal Navy Service (WRNS —> “Wrens”), a service which dates back to 1917.]

The linked post notes that “her smile is disarmingly sweet,” which seems no exaggeration from this picture! As a female friend of mine put it, “Competent, brave, AND adorable.” Indeed: I would also say, as my mother used to say of herself, “little but mighty”!

I actually had to create a new tag – “Courage and Valor” – to give this story, and this heroic individual, the prominence she deserves!

HMS Queen Elizabeth deals with Hurricane Florence on way to F-35 trials | Business Insider

HMS Queen Elizabeth

HMS Queen Elizabeth was delayed by waves and winds caused by Hurricane Florence on its way to Norfolk, Virginia.

Source: HMS Queen Elizabeth deals with Hurricane Florence on way to F-35 trials – Business Insider

Maryland – my home state – represents!

“The British Royal Navy’s £3.5 billion ($4.5 billion) aircraft carrier had left the UK for America on August 18, to start September training with F-35B jets based at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, the Royal Navy wrote on its official website.

Video clip of HMS Queen Elizabeth leaving Portsmouth:

“The stop in Norfolk, the second after a pit-stop in Florida on September 5, is the aircraft carrier’s last before it goes to Maryland for F35B jet training.

The journey was not all smooth sailing, thanks to Hurricane Florence:

“[The Royal Navy] said HMS Queen Elizabeth passed to the south of the Hurricane’s eye but still met four meter swells, five meter waves, and winds of 46 mph.”

An earlier article (“Britain’s newest and most powerful aircraft carrier is headed to America to train with F-35s for the first time“) had noted that

“Britain’s newest and most powerful aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, is on its way to America to train with F-35 jets for the first time,” and that “The deployment is significant because it will mark the first fighter jet landing on a British aircraft carrier in eight years.”

Video of F-35 vs the earlier, British-made, carrier-based fighter, the AV-8B Harrier II:

“The first landing on the HMS Queen Elizabeth will happen at the end of September, according to the Portsmouth News. The jets are expected to perform 500 take-offs and landings over an 11-week period, the Royal Navy said…”

“HMS Queen Elizabeth is the third largest aircraft carrier in the world at 280 meters long and a weight of 65,000 tonnes. In total, there will be about 1,500 people on board, the Portsmouth News reported.”

“It is expected to be on active duty in 2021.”

Additional information, from the “Save the Royal Navy” website:

“Carrier heaven” – US Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia – the world’s largest naval base, and home to six of the US Navy’s ten super-carriers