Read the headline, sounds great doesn’t it.
HMS Mersey, one of the Royal Navy’s fisheries protection vessels, doing good work in the Gulf instead of fisheries protection duties in the UK.
But read more, compare the headline and then compare the quote from Mr Fallon with what HMS Mersey and her crew actually did.
Before anyone gets on their high horse, this is in no way a criticism of the crew, the ship or Royal Navy, they are digging in, doing what they can with what they have and contributed to taking some drugs out of circulation.
What did HMS Mersey actually do?
Well read the story yourself, recreated below, but from that (and I accept there could well be things not reported) the contribution consisted of providing a boat ride for the three suspects and moving the drugs packages from the yacht to the US Coastguard vessel. With no helicopter or decent sensor package, the fisheries protection vessel is not really up to doing much else, perhaps.
Talk about making a mountain out of a very small mole hill.
It is a sign of just how ridiculous the MoD media team has become and how divorced from reality the Government and Secretary of State for defence are. The reason HMS Mersey is there and not in UK waters is simply because the frigate and destroyer cupboard is bare.
Global reach and strength, increasing defence budget, please, stop it.
Anyway, do read on…
Mersey, operating in the North Atlantic region as part of her commitment to the security of the UK’s overseas territories, worked with the Canadian Navy and US Coastguard in the operation to intercept a small yacht.
The Honduras-bound yacht was stopped and searched by a US Coast Guard team in the Canadian ship HMCS Summerside and 304kg of drugs were discovered onboard. HMS Mersey sent a small team on her fast boat – a Pacific 22 rigid inflatable – to take charge of three suspects and bring them back to the ship. As darkness fell the team then returned to collect 16 bales of cocaine, which have a wholesale value of approximately £12,000,000. The drugs were then passed on to American law enforcement officials aboard the US Coast Guard Cutter Thetis.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
This underlines the strength and global reach of our Royal Navy. Backed by a rising defence budget, the Navy plays a key role in tackling the global drugs trade, while delivering reassurance to Britain’s overseas territories.
Mersey, a Portsmouth-based River Class patrol ship left the UK in January for a seven-month deployment of the North Atlantic.
HMS Mersey’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Richard Hewitt said:
I am delighted with HMS Mersey’s contribution to this substantial drugs bust, this was an excellent team effort from both my crew and the three nations involved.
from Ministry of Defence – Activity on GOV.UK http://ift.tt/23Ky570