Warship crew wear new naval uniform

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Published: Saturday 21st March 2015 by The News Editor

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A Royal Navy warship has set sail with the crew wearing the Senior Service’s first new uniform in more than 70 years.

HMS Lancaster also marked two other firsts with its deployment from Portsmouth Naval Base by having the first Royal Marine chef to join an RN warship and it is the first ship in the fleet to be equipped with the new Wildcat helicopter.

Hundreds of family members and friends waved off the Type 23 frigate as it left the Hampshire port for its nine-month Atlantic patrol.

The crew are wearing the navy’s new uniform which replaces the Action Working Dress known as No4s and which has been designed to be more comfortable, versatile and with better branding to reflect the sailor’s role within the armed services.

The Wildcat is the latest generation of multi-role helicopter for the Royal Navy providing more powerful engines and tail-rotor system than its predecessor with state-of-the-art cockpit instruments.

A navy spokesman said: “Extremely versatile, the Wildcat is designed for a variety of roles – anti-ship, anti-submarine, ship protection, casualty evacuation, battlefield reconnaissance and general utility.”

Corporal Liam Eley, 35, from Cardiff, is the first Royal Marine chef to join the crew of a Royal Navy warship since the Corps formed in 1664. His chance to join a ship is due to the recent merger of chef branches in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

Royal Navy chefs have already worked with Royal Marines across the country and overseas but Cpl Eley is the first to switch the opposite way.

Lancaster’s commanding officer, Commander Peter Laughton, said: “In many ways it’s a ground-breaking deployment for the Royal Navy, as we are taking new capabilities and equipment on operations for the first time.

“The ship’s new Wildcat helicopter is state of the art and will become the Royal Navy’s primary maritime aircraft. The ship’s company is kitted out in a new uniform designed for additional comfort and to cope better with the temperature extremes of the areas in which we may be tasked to operate. We also have a Royal Marine Chef fully integrated into our ship’s company for the first time in naval history.”

The ship will take over from HMS Dragon and expects to cover in excess of 30,000 nautical miles and visit up to 18 different countries.

Published: Saturday 21st March 2015 by The News Editor

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