RFA Wave Knight left Scotland this weekend to begin the 4,500-mile journey across the Atlantic.

The Royal Navy say here that once in the Caribbean she’ll join forces with HMS Medway, the Royal Navy patrol ship stationed in the region.

“Together, the two vessels form the spearhead of the UK’s response to Nature’s fury – hurricane season begins on June 1st, while the people of St Vincent continue to be affected by the eruption of volcano La Soufrière.

Last year proved to be one of the quieter hurricane seasons, but Wave Knight has undergone thorough training and loaded all the necessary supplies to respond if required.

For although officially a tanker, the ship can also carry up to 2,000 disaster relief packages, 150 tonnes of fresh food and provide up to 380,000 litres of fresh water.”

Commanding Officer Captain Simon Herbert RFA was quoted as saying:

“Our holds are full of humanitarian aid and disaster relief stores and our decks packed with workboats ready to respond to the upcoming hurricane season. My ship’s company – Royal Fleet Auxiliary, Royal Navy and Royal Marines – has been comprehensively prepared and trained to offer not only humanitarian and disaster relief support, but also Maritime Security and to support the international fight against illegal drug running.

It is a privilege and a honour to command RFA Wave Knight as she deploys to provide support, assistance and reassurance to Britain’s overseas territories in the Caribbean region. All onboard will miss their family and friends but they are also looking forward to the challenges ahead.”

The ship is also taking a Wildcat helicopter from 213 Flight/815 Naval Air Squadron, you can read more here.

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Andy P
Andy P
17 days ago

One wee paraffin parrot for that big ship…. Would have thought a couple of Merlin would have been of more use.

Deep32
Deep32
17 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

I think the rest are with CSG, so not much else left in said cupboard!!🤣🤣

Deep32
Deep32
17 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

On a more serious note, with the LSG(N) at sea along with the CSG, it highlights an alarming lack of rotary assets available. If we also want to introduce another LSG, they will also need rotary lift assets! Just wondering where all these will come from!!!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
17 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Spot on. You’d assume permanent dets from 845, 846, 847 NAS for those tasks. And maybe RAF Chinooks? Out of 25 Merlin HC4 and a handful of Wildcat pooled with the 34 of the AAC. Surely not possible from the forward fleet when other roles and those in depth maintenance, training and reserve are included.

Original Sea King HC’s numbered 35 I recall? They should have been replaced one for one by SABR, another programme culled.

Last edited 17 days ago by Daniele Mandelli
Deep32
Deep32
16 days ago

I believe that SABR was also responsible for delivering the PUMA replacement. I assume the Pumas are still being replaced over the next few(?) years, if so, I trust some if not all will the navalised version thereby increasing FAA options for deployments. Can’t see standing up a second LSG working without additional deployable helicopters else, especially as this one will be based EOS for long periods.

Klonkie
Klonkie
16 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

On a personal note – nice to see some of the old SAAF pumas still operating in RAF colours.

geoff
geoff
16 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Hi Klonkie-those were the days! Did you ever get to the air show at Virginia in Durban?

Klonkie
Klonkie
15 days ago
Reply to  geoff

nah mate – did attend some ysterplaat shows waaaaay back. Spent a fair bit of time being ferried about in pumas in the operational area circa early 80s. I served in a SAAF MAOT (Mobile Air Ops team) for a few tours.

Klonkie
Klonkie
16 days ago

its the usual approach Danielle, they’ll claim the Merlin can do more than the old sea king junglie, justifying they need fewer aircraft – simply nuts, they never learn .

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
16 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Agreed.

Nic
Nic
17 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

They will maybe call on the RAF or become reliant on the Americans

Bob2
Bob2
17 days ago
Reply to  Nic

The RM will definitely need the RAFs chinooks as the merlin is unable to lift Jackal or Viking.

Nic
Nic
17 days ago
Reply to  Bob2

I think the helicopter issue needs to be looked at , because of the commitment required for the carriers
Now . Do we have enough of a specific type

Deep32
Deep32
17 days ago
Reply to  Nic

Yes Nic, all a posibility, but doesnt look good! Issue with using RAF assests is they are not salt water corrosion proof. Whilst they can/are used, i imagine post deployment maintenance must be a right old mare! You would like to think that the Puma replacement has this feature.

Nic
Nic
16 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Yes i would agree ,what we need is a proven helicopter that can be used both in land and sea operations.

Sleepy
Sleepy
16 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

She can only carry a single helo.

Herodotus
Herodotus
17 days ago

Somewhat off topic but the BBC are running a story on what they claim is the replacement for ‘Royal Yacht’. A sizeable vessel…I wonder, given the PM’s recent visit, if it will be built in Appledore!

Plans for new national flagship to promote ‘best of British’ – BBC News

Last edited 17 days ago by Herodotus
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
16 days ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Just seen that, picked up by others today.
Appledore, I hope so.
If built it must be in a UK yard and must be used most of the time for its primary purpose, not a floating hotel for the royals as will just set the anti monarchists off.

Fine for HM The Queen to use it on occasion like for state visits where Britannia is staying for some days.

And soft power things like this should not come at the expense of the Red Arrows either.

Herodotus
Herodotus
16 days ago

Given all that has happened to our country over the past 18 months, I wonder if this is the appropriate time to announce it. A royal spokesperson said that it had not been requested by the Royal Family….so they are trying to put a bit of distance between themselves and the decision. Not surprising given the negative stories they have had to weather of late. My main concern is that it doesn’t become a working holiday excuse for government ministers and their friends. Trade deals meaning long stays on the French Riviera or Dubai. No swimming pool I note!

Airborne
Airborne
16 days ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Lets hope its a proper trade hunting asset with a real secondary role as hospital/humanitarian ship.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
15 days ago
Reply to  Herodotus

That’s the thing. I’m happy with the concept it’s the possible abuse.

TrevorH
TrevorH
17 days ago

SKY News are on the ball, they write on the web that the Queen Elizabeth carrier is named after our present Queen…

Slothnado
Slothnado
17 days ago
Reply to  TrevorH

Which she isn’t… but we all know that really she is.

geoff
geoff
16 days ago
Reply to  Slothnado

An interesting sleight of hand. 😆 If she was named after our present Monarch she would need to be HMS Queen Elizabeth the 2nd in the same manner as HMS King George V for example, although a further twist-our present Queen(God Bless Her) is neither the Second of England nor of the United Kingdom!!

Rob
Rob
17 days ago

Not sure about the utility of having HMS Medway and RFA Wave Knight in the Caribbean for the hurricane season. Yes Medway can chase drug dealers but apart from using Ribs to land advisors what else can it do? Wave Knight can carry plenty of stores and relief personnel but how do they get this from ship to shore without LCVP / LCU, Mexefloat or a serious lift capability? A Bay class ship would be a far better option but they are in short supply. A stoop gap would be to have a Merlin on Wave Knight for heavier lift… Read more »

John N
John N
17 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Yes I think a Bay class is better suited for a HADR role.

Here’s some vision of HMAS Choules from January 2020 helping to evacuate people trapped by bushfires:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qhzIEPfD03A

Cheers,

Bob2
Bob2
17 days ago
Reply to  John N

Wave Knight does have reasonable medical facilities that would be useful for HADR, with the wild cat bringing the injured to the ship. But agree having a landing dock is useful. Any landing craft could also act independently of the mother ship so more places are reached. As it is, Wave Knight is only equipped to provide emergency rations. I not sure if we routinely do this, but having a landing dock allows the deployment of heavy plant to clear debris and repair infrastructure. It might be an idea for one of the local BOT regiments to take on this… Read more »

Steve
Steve
16 days ago
Reply to  Bob2

It would be interesting to know what the driver is behind having 3 different class of vessels sent there in the last 3 years. Is it down to the navy being over stretched or is there something more planned behind it, training reasons etc.

geoff
geoff
16 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Probably has more to do with availability at the time Steve. Showing the flag in the Caribeann is very important with the number of Overseas territories and Commonwealth countries there. Suitability for task is probably a secondary consideration

James Fennell
James Fennell
17 days ago
Reply to  Rob

I imagine someone smarter and more knowledgeable than us did the planning. Waves have been sent to the Caribbean before. The loaded workboats are for ship to shore and the Wildcat for damage assessment / survey. Medway can also carry ISO containers with relief supplies as well as her boats. She might have a commercial UAV – Protector has taken some with her for ice survey.

Tim
Tim
14 days ago
Reply to  Rob

When we built the T45’s with 8000 ton hulls, big engines and lots of expensive sensors and weapons, why didn’t we also build a few 8000 ton multi mission support ships using the same hull but with cheap diesels and an RFA fit out? Economies of scale and all that could have gotten us some very useful support ships with a couple of Lynx and LCVP each. We could still do it today and have some T26RFA’s.

Andrew D
Andrew D
17 days ago

Last week 2 RFA ships were put up for sale of scrap ,I thank there would of suited the role better then wave knight 🌪🌩

Nic
Nic
17 days ago

On a different note Forces news have put an article out about a new Royal yacht /British flagship. Tenders to be released soon and construction to start around 2022.

Andrew D
Andrew D
17 days ago
Reply to  Nic

Was surprise at this news ,don’t get me wrong happy about it but will RN have the man power,plus will this vessel need to have an Escort as navy very stretch even in the next few years .Oh Labour party kicking off already.

Rob
Rob
16 days ago
Reply to  Nic

Yes I saw this too. However they are saying it won’t be a Royal Yacht but rather ‘a new British flag ship to promote global Britain.’ Sort of the same thing but I do hope the politicians don’t get first use above 1) the Royals & 2) the FO & trade office. We really don’t need the naval equivalent of ‘Blair Force One.’

James H
James H
17 days ago

Would the idea be to deploy a MRSS ship to the Caribbean in the future as a forward deployed ship, replacing the river and the hurricane season ship? As it seems to be far more suitable if initial designs are built. However as already mentioned we will need more helicopters if the plan is to forward deploy more ships.

donald_of_tokyo
donald_of_tokyo
17 days ago

What are RFA Wave Knight carrying for this deployment? See https://twitter.com/RFAWaveKnight/status/1398236797113671686 It looks like she is carrying 1 Wildcat, 3 ORCs and 1 RHIB in addition to her own 2 RHIBs and 1 large Launch (what is it?) (Of course, 4 red lifeboats are not for HADR tasks). If my eye is correct, it looks like she is also carrying a floating bridge? In addition, HMS Medway will provide, 2 RHIBs and 2 smaller RHIBs. In the last few years, HADR summer tasks was carried out by a Bay. Good. But, she was equipped with 1 Wildcat, 1 Mexefloat (not… Read more »

Steve M
Steve M
15 days ago

At least with the Bay you have ability to move/land heavy plant with the Mexifloat, adding LCVP to the bay would have greatly increased capability.
Personally think we should get some Absolon type ships to carry out the forward deployed mission with their large flex deck

Airborne
Airborne
16 days ago

It is bloody impressive the assets and people the Navy has currently on deployments. Very impressive, good planning and prep, with decent people cutting about doing a decent job. The Army head sheds could learn a lot!