The Journal of ECHO the Duck

The Journal of ECHO the Duck

This is the journal of ECHO the Duck mascot of HMS Trenchant

Echo : Journal of a warrior duck.

I am a duck. No ordinary duck though, as I am a

duck of war. I usually look out for a group of cadets

at TS Echo but more recently I have been helping the

crew of HMS Trenchant to gear up for operations as

part of OP KIPPION. HMS Trenchant and her brave

crew are part of a multi-national task force

combatting drug smuggling, people smuggling and

terrorism in the middle east. Its important work so I

have agreed to help the Captain, CDR Lindsay

prepare his crew to carry out their mission

successfully. My name is Echo and this is my journal.

June 30th : Gunnery Training

In the busy and often dangerous waters that HMS Trenchant will be operating in it is necessary

that the submarine can defend itself. In order to be ready the gunnery officer, LT Matin, the XO,

LT CDR Fillmore and myself organised some gunnery

training with the submarines GPMG’s. Just to make

sure that in a pinch the lads will be ready at a

moments notice. With the GPMG’s mounted on the

bridge I showed the crew the correct drills to operate

the weapons safely. Once we were happy that the

team were ready, the Ships protection manager, PO

Oberholzer, and I let the team test the weapons with

live ammunition. This

proves that the

weapons are in a

working state and also

allows the aimers to get used to how the weapons fire. This kind

of practice is vital in making sure the crew can handle any

situation and after the training I'm sure that they are more than

capable to meet any challenge that may come their way.

July 5th : Hands to Bathe

As we continued our voyage towards our area of operations the

captain took advantage of the good weather and allowed the

crew a chance to indulge in ‘Hands to bathe’. This meant that

everyone got a chance to go for a swim, refreshing tired bodies

and getting some sunshine. All work and no play makes Echo a

dull ducky so I jumped in the water with the guys for a paddle.

Never one to miss a chance to train though I took the opportunity

to give some of the guys some swimming lessons. I am a master

of the water after all.

July 7th : WSC Training

HMS Trenchant is armed with Spearfish Torpedoes and

Tomahawk Missiles making her a powerful platform in the

realm of international security. As such, the team in the

Weapon Stowage Compartment or ‘Bomb Shop’ as it is

lovingly called must ensure that the weapons are well

cared for and that the weapon system is ready to be used

at a moments notice. I took a moment to help the bomb

shop crew do some checks on the weapon system. We

call these checks Weapon

Quarters. As you can see

from the photos, all the

checks are carried out carefully in with the appropriate

documentation as well as the correct protective equipment. I also

performed some maintenance inside the torpedo tubes. Going into

the tubes can be scary for the newer members of the crew so, as

a brave ducky I went first to show the boys it was all ok.

July 12th : Navigation Training

Navigating a submarine under water is tricky

business. There is no TOMTOM and its not like

you can just look out of a window for a road sign.

As a master maritime navigator I thought it prudent

to pass some of my wisdom to the officers

responsible for keeping HMS Trenchant safe and

on track. In this photo I am discussing different

techniques for dived navigation with LT Martin

using HMS Trenchant’s electronic navigation

equipment. Newly fitted to HMS Trenchant this

system allows the plot officers to display the boat

position on electronic charts and thereby keep the

boat safe.

July 15th : Ship Control

HMS Trenchant is 5000 tonnes of machine

travelling under water, sometimes very fast

and sometimes very slow. She has to be kept

in control at all times so CDR Lindsay allowed

me to spend some time with the ship control

team, putting them through their paces and

practicing drills. The team of three drive the

boat and operate the systems that propel and

steer the submarine. I decided to test the team

on their drills to make sure that should and

emergency occur they could handle it quickly

and safely.

July 20th : Dolphin Ceremony

All submariners train very hard to earn their

dolphins. It takes weeks of learning about the

boats systems and routines to pass the board and

become a true submariner. Whilst we have been

underway some new members of the crew, with

my help, have qualified to join the elite club of

submariners. The captain held the traditional

ceremony to award the dolphin badge, a symbol

of their status as submariners, to these brave and

lucky souls. Here, SLT Keenan, the AWEO,

receives his dolphins from CDR Lindsay.


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