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Maritime Reserves Admiral Visits Cambria

Rear Admiral Alabaster meets LCIS Judith White PO (LOGS) Jason Preece and PO (AWW) Whiskey Walker
Rear Admiral Alabaster is piped aboard HMS Express and saluted by Commanding Officer Lt James Reynolds RN
Lt Cdr Eileen Munsun receives her VRSM from Rear Admiral Alabaster

It is always a special occasion when an Admiral visits your unit, when that Admiral happens to be the one in charge of all of the UK’s Maritime Reserves it becomes a very special occasion indeed.

Flag Officer Reserves, Rear Admiral Martin Alabaster, who also holds the position of Flag Officer Scotland, Northern England, Wales and Northern Ireland, visited HMS Cambria on Wed 25 Feb.

The sailors in Cambria were very keen to show their Admiral how prepared they are to serve the Royal Navy when called upon. 

A fire fighting team of men and women dressed in full protective clothing gave a demonstration of their ship’s fire fighting capability.  The life like exercise incorporated smoke generators, breathing apparatus, thermal imaging cameras and charged fire hoses.

Lieutenant Krista Hodkinson gave a presentation on her recent Operational Tour of Duty to the Arabian Gulf, where she served as a Media Operations Specialist in the UK Maritime Command Centre, Bahrain (a further report of Krista’s tour can be found in the news section of this web site).

On such special occasions the opportunity to present medals and awards is eagerly taken, and during a short ceremony (witnessed by the whole Ship’s Company) Admiral Alabaster presented Lieutenant Commander Eileen Munson with the Volunteer Reserves Service Medal (VRSM) which is awarded following 25 years service.  A section of her citation read: In recognition of the outstanding service she has given to the Royal Naval Reserve and the Medial Branch.

In addition the Admiral visited the University Royal Navy Unit (URNU) Wales (sited in HMS Cambria) inspected the URNUs training ship HMS Express (P2000) berthed in Penarth Marina and witnessed the Ship’s Company carry out ship handling exercise inside Cardiff Bay.

On completion of his visit Rear Admiral Alabaster said: “He was very satisfied” with what he had witnessed in HMS Cambria.  He further praised the fine work of the Naval Reserves in particular those who have served and continue to volunteer to serve in the Gulf and Afghanistan operational areas.