A Royal Navy ship has delivered critical water and medical supplies to Tonga in the wake of a catastrophic tsunami.

The Royal Navy say here that as soon as HMS Spey arrived in the Tongan capital Nuku’alofa on the island of Tongatapu, her 50 crew began offloading 30,000 litres of bottled water, medical supplies and sanitation and baby care products.

“The islands’ capital is serving as the hub for an international aid effort supporting the stricken Commonwealth nation. The aid, which Spey collected from Tahiti last week, will be distributed around islands most severely affected by the tsunami, which was triggered by an extremely rare underwater volcanic eruption on January 15, destroying homes and covering the area in volcanic ash.”

Chief Petty Officer Ash Head said in a press release:

“It is hot out in the sun, so it is good to see the whole ship’s company working together, rotating positions where needed and keeping water bottles topped up. We are looking after each other and we are glad our work can support international aid efforts and help Tonga.”

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Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago

One advantage having such a vessel forward deployed.

And an example of “Global Britain” which means the UK involved around the world, as it has been for hundreds of years. In trade, diplomacy, aid, soft power, Not just military reach and how many ships, planes or Tanks and “Empire”, as the lefty luvvies snear as their chip on their shoulder instantly catches fire!

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
2 months ago

Excellent comment. Perhaps the most significant part of what our armed forces do is not that visible but hugely important.

Challenger
Challenger
2 months ago

Absolutely! Very easy to talk about being more globally engaged but it’s things like vessels turning up and delivering soft power that shows it.

geoff
geoff
2 months ago

Good one Daniele. I was waiting to hear when the RN would arrive along with the Aussies and Kiwis. The Commonwealth is a force for good.
31 degrees in Durban today- Weather report says feels like 36 degrees coz of the humidity!
Cheers my friend(on the next RIB to Dover ) 😂

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  geoff

I read that post….wholeheartedly agree.

Albert Starburst
Albert Starburst
2 months ago

Superb! Absolutely we must do more of this to support the remote Pacific and Atlantic islands in our sphere of influence. I wish we could have done more to help places like Antigua a few years back when the big hurricane hit there.

Crabfat
Crabfat
2 months ago

I’ve always thought, in these humanitarian situations, you never see the Russians or Chinese delivering tons of aid. I can’t remember them ever doing so. Mind you – Tonga isn’t exactly a strategic country for either of them, so they wouldn’t get any return for their largesse.

However, if the Russians/Chinese did start sending in aid, we (the West) would start to get suspicious anyway – they can’t win!

Lee1
Lee1
2 months ago
Reply to  Crabfat

Not one to offer support to China or Russia but do we only not see their aid as it is not shown on our news or do they genuinely not often send any?

Damo
Damo
2 months ago
Reply to  Lee1

Good question

Farouk
Farouk
2 months ago
Reply to  Lee1

After Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines in Nov 2013 killing 6300 people, Aid was sent from across the world the top 10 were: Uk: $131 Million US: $86 Million Australia: $70 Million Japan : $52 Million Holland: $49 Million Norway: $41.6 million Canada: $40 Million South Korea: $25 Million Kuwait: $10 Million Saudi Arabia: $10 Million In addition The UK deployed HMS Daring and HMS Illustrious and Royal Air Force C-130J – stationed in Cebu delivering over 235,000 of aid – and Royal Air Force Boeing C-17 Globemaster III for Humanitarian Aid and Relief The US Deployed the USS George Washington (CVN-73)… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Farouk
lee1
lee1
2 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

Interesting. However what about in areas where Russia is traditionally allied to? They may well be pretty selfish with their money though, unless it involves sending troops to help quell civilian protests against dictators…

Farouk
Farouk
2 months ago
Reply to  lee1

Lee,

Thank you for replying, I was kind of substantiating Daniele’s initial post where he pointed out that actually the Uk isn’t as intolerant, far right and bigoted as the wonk brigade make out and that when push comes to shove we do more than others in which to help our fellow man than those whom the left of the political centre demand we ape.

Last edited 2 months ago by Farouk
Lee1
Lee1
2 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

Using the term woke is not helpful in a meaningful discussion. It is derogatory and fails to recognise that the right have their fair share of people who get offended by stupid things. But yes we as a people have always been giving and I am not sure that has ever been in question. That is not the same as the permanent foreign aid budget issue though. I think we were wrong to cut that just as China is using theirs to influence (and trap them) into moving under their influence. Foreign aid budgets have never really been about pure… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
2 months ago
Reply to  Lee1

Woke is absolutely a perversion. It is hybrid warfare directed at creating anarchy. It is spread by social and other media to groom converts and is no less dangerous than the grooming of vulnerable young Islamic extremists. Remember the pen is mightier than the sword. The Graudian is wholesale intellectual mood killing.

lee1
lee1
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

I am not sure you even have an idea what it actually is. I mean my Dad has been called Woke for getting an Electric car despite him being firmly old school right wing! It is a term invented by the far right to excuse their behaviour and is intended as a divisive and destabilising term. There are plenty of people on both sides of the political spectrum who get easily offended and shout very loud about it while the rest of us just get on with being good human beings. Woke went from being a far right terminology to… Read more »

Farouk
Farouk
2 months ago
Reply to  Lee1

lee wrote: Using the term woke is not helpful in a meaningful discussion.  Currently the BBC is pushing a story about how third world countries aren;t getting free hand outs of C19 vaccines via COVAX and that the Uk must hand over more instead of vacinating its own. But here is my gripe, at the start of 2020 and until the end of 2020 everybody in the world was in the same boat Some countires planned , some didn;t . So 3 third world countries: Paksitan Tunisia iran All 3 depend on COVAX for their vaccines, and yet all 3… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Farouk
lee1
lee1
2 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

What has that got to do with being Woke? That situation has been happening for the whole time civilisation has existed… If we want to be free of covid then we need to make sure the majority of the world is vaccinated. Otherwise the chances of new vaccine escaping variants is high. We as a rich country should indeed help and we have. However we have given over £500million to the program but the cheaper and more effective way to do it would have been to simply release IP restrictions on the vaccine but we refuse to do that. The… Read more »

Farouk
Farouk
2 months ago
Reply to  lee1

Lee wrote: “”What has that got to do with being Woke? “” You tell me, I wrote ‘wonk’ and you read it as woke. You started the ball rolling. Lee wrote: “However we have given over £500million to the program” A quick butchers at the covax website shows the Uk has handed over $3 billion, which is more than anybody else, the next is the US at $2.7 billion. Lee wrote: “” but the cheaper and more effective way to do it would have been to simply release IP restrictions on the vaccine but we refuse to do that.”” There is some… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Farouk
lee1
lee1
2 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

So firstly, what the hell is “Wonk” Actually the covax website along with other sources put the UKs contribution at $735 million which equates to £548 million https://www.gavi.org/sites/default/files/covid/covax/COVAX-AMC-Donors-Table.pdf Why should we do the same as other countries with regard to IP? It would have been the cheapest option so would benefit both the UK and the rest of the world… I am not sure India applied. AZ contracted them to produce vaccines as it already had partners in India. Not sure what you are trying to say with regards to my comment about Pakistan etc. I clearly said it was… Read more »

Farouk
Farouk
2 months ago
Reply to  lee1

Lee wrote:
Actually the covax website along with other sources put the UKs contribution at $735 million which equates to £548 million

Really as here is a screen dump from the excel sheet found on their funders link:

Untitled-1.jpg
lee1
lee1
2 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

That is not Covax… that is GAVI.

Farouk
Farouk
2 months ago
Reply to  lee1

Lee wrote: My wife is a teacher and is currently dealing with a number of students whose families can no longer afford food and are having to go to food banks.  Please, I’m a child who had to find clothes to wear from the local tip, I worked 2 paperrounds to put food on the table for my sisiter and I, kind of explains why we were taken into care. I came from nothing and I have made something of my life and I grew up in a childrens home. If children are going hungry, what are their parents doing… Read more »

lee1
lee1
2 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

I am not using emotion to gain the moral high ground. If you feel that way then that is on you not me. I congratulate you on making something of yourself despite your background. However I too had a similar experience growing up and I too now have made a very good living. That does not mean that I think I should have grown up like that… I do not wish it on others and do not subscribe to the old fashioned view of other having to go through what I went through. Child hunger has significant effects on educational… Read more »

Ianb
Ianb
2 months ago
Reply to  lee1

Sorry Lee1, but their debt was wiped in 2008, they then went out and borrowed from China. Those countries are back in the same boat they were in 2006, debt to their eye balls and spending stupid amounts on Arms. I agree that the current imperative is to scale existing vaccines as quickly as possible while maintaining strict safety and quality standards. But for the premise of this debate to be true, there would need to be additional manufacturers who could and would stand ready to manufacture additional vaccines if not thwarted by IP restrictions. I see no evidence that… Read more »

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
2 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

👍

Ianb
Ianb
2 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

Farouk, I agree with you 110%

John Stevens
John Stevens
2 months ago

I remember when some people on this website did not like the idea of five new River class patrol ships being built. I always believed they would be very useful.. Taking pressure off the larger ship’s. “Well done to all involved”

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  John Stevens

Agree, always liked the B2s. I’d like 5 more!

Too many only see “defence” as how big a bang it makes and not the myriad capabilities and non wary roles that defence offers.

David Flandry
David Flandry
2 months ago
Reply to  John Stevens

I would like to see them a little up-armed is all. Not to spend too much but some more.

Ron Stateside
Ron Stateside
2 months ago

Aid delivery is now a right-wing talking point Daniele? Black is white and up is down too? I’m no defender of Labor in the UK, but this is gaslighting plain and simple. All Britons should be able to take pride in what HMS Spey is doing without being subjected to an unwarranted political attack. This is the Farage type sentiment that makes Britain seem old and inward-looking, not the Global Britain you think you represent.

Matt Harding
Matt Harding
2 months ago
Reply to  Ron Stateside

Well said. Daniele’s otherwise excellent contributions to this site are undermined by such foolish comments.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  Matt Harding

I refer you to the Guardian’s opinions on the UK getting involved in the far East “post imperial nostalgia ” I believe they called it??

Glad you like my other comments though Matt, but to me there is nothing foolish for calling out that sort. I’ve been called a fascist to my face before. It works both ways.

Farouk
Farouk
2 months ago

Daniele wrote wrote: ”I’ve been called a fascist to my face before “ A few years back whilst on leave , my best mate and I came across this anti US stand , anyway , the geezer must have presumed by the colour of my skin , I would support his cause and sign his petition, I refused, he went from peace protester to foaming at the mouth idiot in seconds and called me a fascist. I simply replied “ Err according to your rule book, I’m the wrong colour to be a fascist “ talk about stumped. You could… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Farouk
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

Morning farouk. Wonderful story. They cannot cope with reality checks that their ideological world is not always like they want it to be. Mine was out on campaign for Farage in Thanet in 2015. We knocked on a door, introduced ourselves, and the lad said “Sorry, I don’t talk with fascists” and closed the door before we could say a word. Clearly another brainwashed by the anti UKIP campaign. Cameron called us all “closet racists and loons” That went down well didn’t it? So, that is 4 million plus who all voted for UKIP in the 2015 GE, and the… Read more »

Damo
Damo
2 months ago
Reply to  Matt Harding

I wouldn’t say undermined but i do roll my eyes at times. That said, he’s a poster on a forum. All non prejudicial posts welcome. Always good to read thoughts contrary to our own. Not as if we’re looking for marriage prospects

Matt Harding
Matt Harding
2 months ago
Reply to  Damo

Agreed Damo. One reason I keep coming back to this site is not only the excellence of reporting by George, but also the invaluable opinions of the commentators who have immensely more knowledge and experience than I. I read the Gaurdian and the Telegraph each day, and am always depressed by some of the ignorant or ridiculous opinions that apparently deserve printing in both.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  Ron Stateside

No, aid delivery isn’t. But having ships deployed in the far east to enable that delivery quickly is, which is what the Guardian was complaining about, likening to empire, and which I was referencing.

And considering in a previous thread you told one commentator that I was “not worth replying to” when giving a different viewpoint to yours and his, I’m now going against my better judgement even bothering to reply to you.

Best leave it there.

Airborne
Airborne
2 months ago

Mate you are pretty much spot on and consistent with your view point! Never an issue with me, keep it up.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Mate, respect.

Differences of opinion are fine.

Being treated like shit is not, and I will respond accordingly.

Ron Stateside
Ron Stateside
2 months ago

Your point is non-existent Daniele. You didn’t even reference a source for your, “The Guardian made me do it!”, excuse. Trashing liberal democracy as we raise the sails isn’t the way to represent Global Britain. It’s human nature for youth to be more progressive than their parents. There’s plenty of left-leaning youth to be inspired by the good work HMS Spey is doing, perhaps even some on board. It’s an excellent opportunity for the RN to showcase some of the good work it does and engage idealistic youth. You did your level best to sabotage that in the name of… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
2 months ago
Reply to  Ron Stateside

All Britons should, but the sad fact is many on the left don’t/can’t/refuse to see the bigger picture in regard to forward deployed assets, as their political viewpoint clashes with the concept! Small minds are seen on both left and right of the political spectrum but the difference is that the left always like to think they have the moral high ground and like to cause more noise, to shout other opinions down!

Ron Stateside
Ron Stateside
2 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

I refer you to my reply to Daniele, I’m a centrist.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  Ron Stateside

So am I! But Ron Stateside knows differently. I have read some tosh in my time on this site but that takes the biscuit. ““The Guardian made me do it!” No, I choose to comment as I see fit. I do not need to provide a reference for anything. If you don’t know the Guardians reputation by now with some of the tosh in it and equally some of the same beliefs that appear here and in wider society which I am equally opposed to then… “Trashing liberal democracy as we raise the sails isn’t the way to represent Global… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago

Sorry to continue, but just had a “lightbulb moment” while doing the gardening! And cannot let the sheer hypocricy pass. Regards my comment in post above regards earlier exchanges re Russia – “No, total cop out. You make references to me in the 3rd person, extremely rude, as if I am some freak simply because I had a differing opinion to MX who wants 1st strikes on Putin, says I am a traitor, and cannot accept differing views on this site. That view in question being no, I do not want war with Russia over a non NATO nation, Ukraine.”… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
2 months ago

Boom! Daniele shoots, two rounds to the centre of the body mass, man down……👍

Ron Stateside
Ron Stateside
2 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Lol he got his knickers in a tight bunch and couldn’t address a single point of mine, all gaslighting and whatabout this, what about that. Great critical thinking skills there mate and no, I’m still standing.

Ron Stateside
Ron Stateside
2 months ago
Reply to  Ron Stateside

Fact is not gaslighting, whataboutism, and heresy. I’ll let you look up what critical thinking skills are. As to your threats I’ll leave it up to the site owner or GCHQ I thought it was a non-political site.

Ron Stateside
Ron Stateside
2 months ago

Lol sounds like you got your knickers in a real bunch! You again can’t address a single point of mine; all gaslighting and whataboutism. You spend all day on this site every day Daniele and can’t stand it if you don’t go home with the most lego blocks. Sad.

Damo
Damo
2 months ago

You couldn’t resist the lefty snipe could you lol 😆

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  Damo

Hi Damo. It’s true. Guilty as charged.

At least you can laugh and I will reply in kind.

I myself actually have both left and right wing views.

Whatever. Having been called a fascist for merely wanting the UK to leave the EU, a great exaggeration I think, I will speak my mind.

Clearly, there are some very sensitive folk out there.

Damo
Damo
2 months ago

Definitely. I too flit between the 2. Everyday is a learning day. No one needs echo chambers

Airborne
Airborne
2 months ago

The sad thing is that there are a large amount of people aka sheep who will blindly follow the party lead no matter where it takes them! Sensible politics is about supporting those ideas and innovations which are for the good and benefit of the country and it’s people, regardless which party came up with it! I’m bored off my tits with the continued sad, pathetic, political arguing and competition, supported by useful idiots who continue to vote for party colour not policies! Cheers mate

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
2 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

My thinking exactly. It’s the blind following and backing someone no matter how crazy they are acting. Everyone has made bad decisions as some times the most important thing is being able to say I f***ed up, sorry it was a mistake I should of done this instead and will learn from this

Andrew Robinson
Andrew Robinson
2 months ago

Absolutely! Also shows what a capable vessel the batch 2 river class are, and what an advantage it is for them to be forward based…

Angus
Angus
2 months ago

The Senior Service has been doing this type of operation for years and the ships deployed can provide a lot more to the locals, power and such too have in the past been directly provided from the ships. BZ the crew

Paul.P
Paul.P
2 months ago

There you go….now we see why they have a crane and a large deck for containers rather than a helo and hangar. Good work 👍

Last edited 2 months ago by Paul.P
DRS
DRS
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

If you could have a telescopic hangar at least that would help as per navy lookout options. Could you ever also push the crane back a bit and leave a spot for a phalanx CIWS? Enhancing the Royal Navy’s batch II OPVs | Navy Lookout

navy-lookout-opv-max-telescopic-hangar.png
Paul.P
Paul.P
2 months ago
Reply to  DRS

Tempting…I think there is a valid global role for these batch 2 OPVs. But I don’t see them operating as singleton patrol frigates. We will have forward based T31 for that, and supposedly we can expect 5 x T32. I do see the value of being able to lily pad a medium helo for refuelling, re-arming or extending the reach of ASW and AEW Merlins say; but I see the maintenance crews and hangars staying on the task force ships and/or RFA’s for humanitarian work etc. For constabulary work a containerised UAV for surveillance would be valuable and probably all… Read more »

SwindonSteve
SwindonSteve
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Whilst your point about UAV’s is valid, I personally still think that the utility, and more importantly the ability of a helo deliver a boarding party far quicker than an RHIB, over a longer range would be extremely useful even if these vessels are only the equivalent of the old bills panda car.

The old Sea Lynx with a GPMG would have been perfect.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
2 months ago
Reply to  SwindonSteve

If you are doing a boarding go by boat.
If you are doing an opposed boarding…go by boat.
From experience packing everyone into the back of a Lynx , sat on the floor with 120ft of rope on your lap is not great.
Neither is roping onto a deck with a shed load of boarding kit on.

Its good for getting their quickly as a back up to a sea boat or for providing top cover with a sniper.

That said it was bloody good fun roping out when we did need to do it.

SwindonSteve
SwindonSteve
2 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Well I bow to your superior knowledge and experience.

I was just thinking that a relatively simple helo could provide a more versatile and flexible capability when running down drug runners and pirates.

I suppose that the next gen OPV’s might benefit from a small UAV and perhaps an extendable hangar to accommodate a land based hello nearby.

Paul.P
Paul.P
2 months ago
Reply to  SwindonSteve

Tend to agree. Sadly in the end it comes down to cost: +5 helos and 5 flight crews and 5 maintenance crews.

John N
John N
2 months ago

Here’s some video of the Australian and New Zealand aid effort to Tonga.

Australia:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=p1cQRzKuaxc

New Zealand:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0nUe8Aggc-Y

Cheers,

Frank62
Frank62
2 months ago

Great work HMS Spey. Well done.

Mark Franks
Mark Franks
2 months ago

Good work, our presence in this area has proven to be crucial.

David Hull
David Hull
2 months ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

Answer me a riddle, _what’s grey, flies a white Ensign, is manned by Officers, mateloes and Marines, and has bang sticks fitted. Discuss.

David Hull
David Hull
2 months ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

Sorry M Franks, this was for Andy Reeves. My bad.

Mark franks
Mark franks
2 months ago
Reply to  David Hull

No problem mate.

andy Reeves
andy Reeves
2 months ago

painting a patrol boat grey doesn’t make it a warship

David Hull
David Hull
2 months ago
Reply to  andy Reeves

DH 🙂 Hmmm, RFAs?? 😉

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  andy Reeves

Well it has a gun. And warship standard features.

The Archers are not warships either, but they are still grey, and still have a role.

Airborne
Airborne
2 months ago
Reply to  andy Reeves

But being built to warship standards with the correct systems, support, comms etc does. Research these platforms and it’s quite amazing what has gone into them, which not many without subject matter knowledge realises.

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral
2 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Absolutely, and a good demonstration of why they are the size they are and not very much smaller. For my two penn’orth, I would like a 40mm Bofors and a Malloy type heavy lift drone on board. The drone can lift aid supplies and be used to take aloft some sort of reconnaissance package, whilst the gun is capable, and I am thinking of engaging ever more plentiful uav’s, but not so big to turn it into a frigate in the eyes of a politician. Hopefully of course the ships are likely to serve their turn without needing to fire… Read more »

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
2 months ago

Off topic does anyone know how many raf aircraft went to red flag. I’ve hunted loads of websites but no numbers and all I can find is pictures with 2 typhoons parked up and the tanker. The 1 tanker has crews from both squadrons there.
Would it just be 2? I would of thought 4 would be minimum just to get useful pilot hours etc

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

No idea either, but agree 2 would be far too few. I recall it is usually half a squadrons worth plus tanker, transport, and, at one time, ASCS support.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
2 months ago

You would think they would want to boast about being able to deploy this many aircraft 5000 miles etc but I can still find nothing. 6 pictures of 2 typhoons and 1 voyager. For 2020 red flag the had to move 250 tons of equipment, some airlifted some by sea etc.
Hopefully more news to follow. Some videos of low level, escort big aircraft etc would be great PR. Send it to the main news outlets and hope for a slow news day

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Look up “RAF News” on the MoD RAF site.

Headline – “RAF arrive in US in large scale exercise” has 2 photos. One with 5 Typhoon visible at bottom of page, the other with parts of at least 4 visible on flight line with cockpits open.

So my guess is still 6 ( or 5 ) Typhoon ( from 1 Sqn ) and as 41R are there maybe one or 2 more.

Last edited 2 months ago by Daniele Mandelli
Eufster
Eufster
2 months ago

As a Brit living in NZ It’s nice to have the Royal Navy operating in the area again.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
2 months ago
Reply to  Eufster

Hopefully some exercises or a port visit may happen sometime in the future. Must be due a Royal Navy circumnavigation of the world sometime soon. Maybe next carrier deployment.

Ianb
Ianb
2 months ago

Tad unfortunate name for the CPO in the Press Release, when you consider the event (I know, it’s trying to be light hearted).

In a few years time, it will be good to see one or two more RN ships posted in the region.