A group of Paviors was lucky enough to visit HMS Argyll on 21 May, when the Captain of the ship, Cdr Toby Shaughnessy RN, had invited members to experience a naval exercise. Paviors were joined on board by special guests the Duke of Argyll and Lady Levene – who had christened the ship when first launched.
The ship was due to undertake a week of exercises, known as ‘serials’, following six weeks of maintenance work at Devonport dockyard. The day provided the chance to be shown around the vessel and to experience live firing, fire drills, man-overboard and day-to-day life on board a working Royal Navy vessel. The live firing of a 4.5-inch gun was certainly impressive! Each member of the ship’s company has multiple roles and, when a task is to be undertaken, everyone knows what is expected of them. The team-work demonstrated during all drills was very impressive.
The ship is well-equipped with weaponry and, in addition to the 4.5-inch front gun, carries eight harpoon missiles and 32 Sea Ceptor missiles. Sea Ceptor is the latest-generation ship-based all-weather air defence weapon system, and HMS Argyll is the first ship in the British fleet to feature this technology. The ship can also carry a Merlin and two Wildcat helicopters.
A highlight of the day was the Paviors’ Master, Dyfrig James, presenting the Seaman of the Year award to Petty Officer Christopher Phipps.
Once its week of serials is complete, Argyll will set sail on a nine-month deployment that will see it visit Gibraltar, Crete and the Middle East, before heading to Malaysia, Japan and Korea.
The Paviors are very grateful to Cdr Shaughnessy and the ship’s company for the invitation to what was a most interesting and enjoyable day.