HMS Sabre And HMS Scimitar Depart

in Armed Forces

Loyal and stalwart vessels, HMS Sabre and HMS Scimitar have departed Gibraltar for the final time.

The pair were hoisted aboard MV Anvil Point for their trip back to the UK. They formed the core of protecting British Gibraltar Territorial Waters from their arrival in 2003.

After 17 years’ service in the Royal Navy, they’ve now been temporarily replaced with HMS Dasher and HMS Pursuer. These two Archer Class vessels bring with them a significant increase in capability to both tackle greater sea states and provide much improved crew habitability.

Squadron Commanding Officer LLoyd Cardy said, “Sabre and Scimitar have provided an exceptional service in contributing to the demonstration of UK sovereignty of British Gibraltar Territorial Waters over the last 17 years. Their departure marks the end of an era.

Dasher and Pursuer will continue to maintain that capability as we prepare for their long-term replacements arriving over the next 18 months.”

This magazine notes and thanks them for their long service.


Two GDP Authorised Firearms Officers (AFO), recently recruited from UK Police Forces, underwent a weapon conversion course for the effective and competent use of local weapon system. Both officers passed their qualification shoots and are now a step closer to becoming part of the AFO compliment.

These officers joined the GDP as a result of the latest recruitment drive. As they were already police officers with UK Police Forces, they will follow a different training programme to the other new recruits. Training for these two officers will focus on local legislation, firearms requalification and personal safety training.


Safety Award

Commander British Forces (CBF), Commodore Steven Dainton recently presented Royal Air Force Sergeant Dan Bell with a Royal Air Force Safety Centre ‘Well Done’ award.

Sgt Bell, a member of the General Engineering Section at RAF Gibraltar, received the award following an incident earlier in the year. 

Sgt Bell had managed to avert a potentially extremely hazardous Foreign Object Debris (FOD) issue during a routine morning airfield sweep. Consequently, he swung into action with a full airfield check and repair of the vehicle concerned, which was missing a metal part. Luckily, the offending object was recovered.

Commodore Dainton said, “The actions of Sgt Bell were highly commendable, given the potentially catastrophic impact that the bolt would have had if it had come into contact with an aircraft. He is full deserving of this ‘Well Done’ award.”

The presentation was made in a socially distanced ceremony at RAF Gibraltar, attended by Sgt Bell’s family and colleagues. RAF Gibraltar’s Air Safety Manager, Flight Lieutenant Martin Hughes added, “This event was a perfect example of our mission to prevent a ‘walk on by’ attitude here at the airfield and the example set by Sgt Bell is one for us all to follow.”.


Cross-Organisational MOA

A changing of the guard at the Gibraltar Defence Police Federation has led to a new Memorandum of Agreement with the Chief of Police for the Gibraltar Defence Police (GDP) and HQBF’s Command Secretary.

This new agreement sets the framework for the relationship between the GDPF and the GDP – and the wider MOD.

The Chief of Police Rob Allen said, “Following an open and transparent election process which saw the current committee elected with a clear mandate from its members, I am delighted to sign this new MOA which marks a new chapter in relations between the GDP and its police officers’ representative body. I am confident that the relationship that we have already begun to forge with the Chairman and his Committee will be invaluable as we work together to address the various challenges facing our force. With a recently published 3-year Policing Plan there will inevitably be some change within the Force as we continue to adapt to deliver the MOD’s policing needs in Gibraltar.”

The Chairman of the GDPF, Police Sergeant Christian Hermida added, “The agreement that we have signed today on behalf of our members is an important step for the Federation, the Chief of Police and MOD Gibraltar. I am very happy with the way that the Federation Committee and the Senior Leadership Team have managed to make rapid progress in negotiating this MOA. Both sides have demonstrated a willingness to work together in order to achieve a positive outcome and I am sure we can use the same approach as we work together in the challenges ahead.

Richard Johnson, HQBF’s Command Secretary commented, “As the GDP continues to adapt to meet the needs of British Forces Gibraltar, it is important that our relationship with the GDP Federation also evolves. I hope this MOA will provide the bedrock for constructive relations in the months and years ahead.”

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