Milford Haven waterway training exercise hailed a success
2:02pm Monday 23rd September 2013 in News
THE Royal Navy left Milford Haven on Sunday having thanked the town, its people and the Port for its ‘first class facilities and generous welcome.’
Reservists from all over the UK took part in a major exercise last week designed to train the Navy’s Maritime Trade Operations specialists, and prepare them for deployment anywhere in the world.
They worked through a series of tasks which replicated what the Royal Navy could do to support a commercial port and sustain safe commercial operations. They included diving on wrecks, surveying for safe anchorages, briefing merchant shipping on safety and security, and escorting merchant shipping into and out of port.
The Royal Navy also had HMS Mersey involved, as well as a specialist diving unit from Devonport and a team of hydrographic surveyors.
Corporate Affairs Director for the Port of Milford Haven, Mark Andrews told The Western Telegraph: “The infrastructure here is critical to the UK and therefore it is important that we have the resources available to respond to any threats.
“If you’ve got an understanding of how the Navy works and they’ve got an understanding of how the Port works, then when that training turns into a reality, you’re in a much better position.”
Commander Simon Cottam, who leads the Navy’s Maritime Trade Operations specialisation, said: “We chose Milford Haven as a training destination as it’s the third largest port in the UK, and the sort of maritime traffic that comes in here, namely oil and gas, is the sort of traffic that we are interested in.”
Commodore Jamie Miller, Naval Regional Commander for Wales and Western England, added: “Working in partnership is crucial. I am a former task commander that’s been shot at five times and sunk twice, so I’m always quite keen to prepare for the unexpected adder in the grass.
“This sort of training exercise of getting people together in a fairly benign environment, testing everything out from basic communications to learning each other’s heartbeat, means that if something happens we understand and trust each other.”