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John Hartley
John Hartley
October 8, 2013 9:11 pm

I keep having a thought that if the Severn Barrier is ever built, we should rebuild Barry docks to take larger ships.

October 8, 2013 10:34 pm

Closer to home, the first part of London Gateway opens next month.


Peter Elliott
October 8, 2013 10:49 pm


I have long been a believer that lositics win campaigns at least as much as strategy or tactics.

All this port focus is making me think that a fucntioning port is the ultimate HVU in logistical terms.

Which leads me to wonder should we not have specialist untis/teams/assets to both to capture and defend such an HVU?

That is where the srategy and tactics come in. And for the attacking half of the equation I can’t help thinking the projection of a light brigade across an undefended beach might be a critical capability enough to be worth keeping / regenerating.

October 30, 2013 11:02 pm

Excellent report highlight unique uk capability with diligence in the gulf


October 31, 2013 10:04 am


Thank you. Glad to see that DIL, a veteran of the Falklands war, is still providing such good service. During the Iran/Iraq Tanker War, she supported my ship, among several others, throughout an eight-month Gulf deployment.

One of her more fascinating attributes is DPS (Dynamic Positioning System), a legacy of her time as an oil rig support ship. Combined with her two 360-degree azimuth thrusters and two bow thrusters, this enables her to hover in mid-ocean while other vessels ‘raft up’ on her to avail themselves of her support facilities and generous hospitality. DPS also enables her to berth herself by edging alongside a metre at a time. I remember an occasion when she was forced to wait overnight for a civilian berthing party to clock on in the morning so she simply hovered a short distance off the jetty, put out her long brow (gangway), and carried on with business as usual.

Sadly her RFA Master, with whom we RN COs enjoyed an extremely affable relationship, died in tragic circumstances a few months after his return to the UK.

October 31, 2013 5:34 pm

RFA Diligence has pretty much been a constant feature of RN operations in the gulf since the Iran-Iraq war. I was part of the naval party onboard when she replaced HMS Herald as MCM Support Ship in 88′ and we took a long slow deployment through the Med with our sweepers, in case we had to turn around and go back at any point.

A great vessel, with a tremendous operational history, which shows how commercially designed shipping and the RFA / RN partnership can worked to great advantage.

dave haine
dave haine
October 31, 2013 7:04 pm

With all the plaudits for RFA Diligence, being thrown about. It does make me wonder if we ought to have a couple more of this class of vessel.