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Future Carrier (Including Costs)

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Future Carrier (Including Costs)

Old 6th May 2019, 21:09
  #5461 (permalink)  
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Back in March this was on the Twitter feed from RNAS Culdrose:

.....but they’re already looking forward to being back onboard https://twitter.com/HMSQNLZ this summer!

Preparing for WESTLANT 19 and having lots of jets aboard, or perhaps a NATO exercise? Not everything is about jets.
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Old 16th May 2019, 08:31
  #5462 (permalink)  
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The new Secretary of State for Defence, Penny Mordaunt MP, has outlined that MOD thinking is that we will always have a carrier 'at readiness'. I presume this means R2?

Meanwhile, raining continues - for something rotary wing centric perhaps before WestLant 19?

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Old 17th May 2019, 07:55
  #5463 (permalink)  
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Royal Navy sack exceptional Captain of HMS Queen Elizabeth

The captain of the UK's most famous aircraft carrier has been sacked for using his official car at weekends.

Commodore Nick Cooke-Priest had been the captain of the £3 billion HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier, also known as 'Big Lizzie', since October.

The Royal Navy confirmed the 50-year-old has now been fired, after driving the ship's Ford Galaxy 'as if it was his own'.

He had taken over command of the ship in October and prior to that he had been working with the Ministry of Defence in the Corporate Strategy Group, before joining the Standing Joint Force Headquarters as the assistant chief of staff of operations, during which the HQ achieved Full Operational Capability.

Insiders claimed the married father-of-three was never warned that the car was for official duties only, and he is said to be 'gutted' after discovering he had breached the rules by making personal journeys in the Galaxy.

Now the Navy has been criticised for overreacting, with one source telling The Sun that he should merely have been given a 'slap on the wrist'.

Another former officer said: 'Nick adores the Navy and has lost his career by doing what captains have done for decades — using the company car to get home.

'An innocent mistake has cost the Navy one of its best.'

Cooke-Priest, who received an OBE in 2016, was dismissed this week after a Top Brass investigation found him guilty of an 'error of judgement'.

He was then relieved of his duties commanding the carrier, which is currently docked in Scotland, has a crew of 700 and is capable of carrying up to 60 aircraft including the new Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II. There is no allegation of fraud and the officer, who joined the Royal Navy in 1990, paid for his own petrol.

However, it remains unclear what personal trips the Ford Galaxy was used for.

Cooke-Priest currently sits as the Chairman of the UK Armed Forces Equestrian Association and is a Liveryman of the Honourable Company of Air Pilots. It is not yet known whether or not these roles will be changed following his dismissal.

The respected officer had commanded a 700-strong crew, but an insider said his position had become 'untenable' as he could not properly discipline his sailors after breaking the rules himself.

After being appointed in October last year, he said: 'It’s an immense honour to have taken command of HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH and week one has been fabulous! Much brilliant trials work done, many new challenges ahead. Thrilled to be leading the QE team as we re-generate our sovereign Carrier Strike capability.'

He last tweeted on April 6, and praised his crew for their effort and work, he said: 'To team Portsmouth for their tremendous work over the past 3 months, Forth Pilots for their utter professionalism bringing us into Dry Dock today, and my outstanding Ship’s Company for their enduring commitment, thank you.

'Another milestone on the road to Carrier Strike.'

It is understood that proceedings are ongoing to determine whether he will receive any formal punishment.

A minor punishment is likely but taking into account Captain Cooke-Priest’s age and senior rank, it could mark the end of his high-flying navy career.

The Queen Elizabeth crew — docked at Rosyth in Scotland – were told yesterday that their captain was being moved on.

Captain Steven Moorhouse, who was commander of sister ship HMS Prince of Wales, will take charge of the warship.

In the meantime Cooke-Priest has been assigned a 'new role' in the Navy - though it was not clear what this involves - and he will be replaced as the captain of HMS Queen Elizabeth by the Prince of Wales' skipper Steve Moorhouse.

A Navy source told The Sun: 'We're sacrificing one of our best operational Commanding Officers to ensure we're beyond whiter than white.

'Queen Elizabeth's sailors have lost an exceptional and popular captain because of a policy which looks like it's politically driven.

'A few years ago, all he would have got is a slap on the wrist.'

The Royal Navy said: 'We can confirm Captain Nick Cooke-Priest has been reassigned to a new role. We can only say management action is ongoing and it would therefore be inappropriate to comment further.'

Commodore Cooke-Priest had specialised as a Lynx helicopter observer after joining the Royal Navy. A decade of flying appointments followed, primarily at sea, and included an instructional tour and as Flight Commander of HMS Exeter.

In 2003 he joined HMS Marlborough as an Operation Officer after completing the Principle Warfare Officer Course, where he specialised in Anti-Submarine Warfare.

He spent two years on the staff of Flag Officer Sea Training, this was prior to an assignment to HMS Gloucester as the Executive Officer, which included deployment to the South Atlantic during the austral winter.

He was promoted to Commander in 2009 and that year in HMS Kent escorted the Queen during a royal tour.

He commanded the Frigates Kent and Iron Duke, and escorted Her Majesty the Queen during her Western Isles tour. He also conducted the final security patrols around the Iraqi Oil Platforms and Naval Gunfire Support missions into Libya where he was deployed to the Arabian Gulf and in 2011 to Libya as part of Operation Ellamy.

Assuming command of HMS Bulwark, the Fleet Flag Ship, in January 2015 and leading the UK's contribution to the Gallipoli centenary commemorations in the same year are other highlights of his successful career.

Last edited by Senior Pilot; 17th May 2019 at 08:54. Reason: Add article to url
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Old 17th May 2019, 11:29
  #5464 (permalink)  
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Good grief. I know a lot of Commanders RN who used their staff car, and chauffeur, for personal trips. Nobody batted an eyelid. All of them also made both car and driver available to families of ill or recently deceased employees. The offer was still open to my mother years afterwards. Changed times, and not for the better.
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Old 17th May 2019, 12:29
  #5465 (permalink)  
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. I do perhaps wonder whom it was precisely that he may have upset?
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Old 17th May 2019, 12:37
  #5466 (permalink)  
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Now why do I feel that there must be a lot more to this story than meets the eye? O tempora o mores!

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Old 17th May 2019, 15:31
  #5467 (permalink)  
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Indeed. If he genuinely didn't know about the restrictions on the use of this vehicle, why didn't get a reminder in the first instance? If he did, but kept on using it, that's a different matter. But if he didn't know of the restrictions, then a quick "Ooops, sorry - thanks for letting me know" would have sufficed.

The words 'up' and 'stitch' come to mind....
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Old 17th May 2019, 18:55
  #5468 (permalink)  
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I'm a bit confused about the gentleman's rank. Lots of reports refer to him as 'Commodore' yet his photos appear to show 4 rings, which I had always assumed was Captain. Have I missed some nuance of RN ranks?
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Old 17th May 2019, 19:21
  #5469 (permalink)  
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I believe this a tradition of what is called a reverse brevet.

His actual rank is Commodore, but as he was filling a Captain’s role he followed the tradition of wearing a Captain’s rank.

This has the practical effect on ensuring that there would be no confusion in the chain of command if the carrier was part of a flotilla where another officer was breveted as a Commodore in command, and probably accommodated along with his staff on board the carrier.
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Old 17th May 2019, 19:44
  #5470 (permalink)  
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I cannot but think there is more to this than meets the eye. What was the Captain's Sec or the Head of the Supply Dept up to, someone should have been watching his "6", or someone was out to get him, IMHO of course. Where was Williamson.......only asking.......
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Old 17th May 2019, 19:58
  #5471 (permalink)  
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QE Captain Sacked - A thread of its own ?

Does this (to my mind) extraordinary event deserve a thread all of it's own ?

Being ‘Dismissed one’s Ship’ was, in my simple Supplementary List day, something of a shameful punishment for a significant offence – like negligently putting the ship on the putty, or causing a collision, or worse, but only following a Court Martial (which BTW was, ISTR, always required if you suffered a ‘collision or grounding.’

This seems at the moment to be an outrageous and so far wholly unjustified administrative reassignment by some unaccountable ‘faceless makeweights’ (does that date me ?) who do not seem to realise that while the ship belongs to Brenda, everything aboard belongs to ‘Father’ unless or until there is a gross transgression

It will be interesting to see what comes out of this, including the time-line.

I wonder what his crew and his relief might have to say.

I hope this is not going to go away until the Dismissal is properly explained.

I hope the new Sub Lt Defence Secretary will be asking questions.


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Old 18th May 2019, 11:08
  #5472 (permalink)  
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I find it hard to believe that he did not know of the restrictions of use of the vehicle.
Unless he believed he could authorise its use outside of said restrictions as "captain".

Seems incredibly small minded to dismiss an officer of his proven caliber, unless of course this is the tip of the proverbial iceberg??

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Old 19th May 2019, 07:28
  #5473 (permalink)  
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This is very very odd .... a quiet word surely would have been enough

There must be something else - and that has to be something very different.

As he's still in the RN (for now) it has to something related to the ship I suspect rather than some generic "failing" (wine , women, song would be out of the service)

He probably expressed some strong thoughts on a pet subject of someone closer to the top (I doubt it would be the SecDef who got involved here) - and that is why he was stitched up
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Old 19th May 2019, 20:40
  #5474 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
wine , women, song would be out of the service
Anecdotal evidence would suggest not considering some of the people I've worked with.
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Old 21st May 2019, 23:12
  #5475 (permalink)  
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QE Captain Un-sacked

QE Captain Un-sacked

According to the Telegraph etc. today, May 21st. Captain Cooke-Priest had to be unsacked, because the Navy has no-one else available to drive the boat back to Pompey from Rosyth.

Tuesday night, May 21st, HMS Queen Elizabeth is anchored above the Forth bridges with Tug Hopetoun in attendance. Perhaps waiting for her escort, or the tide – low 11pm. Next high – 5 am Wednesday. Destination showing as Portland.

Presumably, on completion of the voyage, he will have to be re-sacked, unless his new Sub Lieut Boss has developed a more sensible idea.



Last edited by Lordflasheart; 22nd May 2019 at 03:43. Reason: clarity
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Old 22nd May 2019, 00:22
  #5476 (permalink)  
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From RT

"Let me borrow your ride: US gets UK carrier, while her captain gets the boot".

Would appear that the Septics will be lodging for a while.
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Old 22nd May 2019, 07:00
  #5477 (permalink)  
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Ain’t that the truth....
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Old 22nd May 2019, 09:31
  #5478 (permalink)  
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Thank God for men of NCP’s calibre. If it had been me (ruled out on grounds of specialisation, expertise and looks) in command - relieved of command - then asked to park the barge because no one else could - I’d have told ‘them’ to wedge it. Petulant I know - but humbling that he turned to.
I have to come clean. When we (FW FAA) became part of 3 Gp they gave us CS95 because Crabs couldn’t do exercises unless dressed like soldiers. (Or other tenuous reason to give us camo clothing and rucksacks). Never wore the stuff on duty but used it at the weekend for rough shooting and fishing. I also wore the fleece with thumb holes when washing the car. I never deployed with the rucksack- preferring a grip, but it is currently doing very well on a DoE exped with my youngest. Using a defence asset that pusser gave me to help defend the realm in such frivolous - weekend - circumstances was and remains deplorable. I apologise and am very much grateful that my behaviour didn’t cost me command of my small but perfectly formed, AMRAAM toting, sea based bumper gun jet.
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Old 23rd May 2019, 00:14
  #5479 (permalink)  
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Order - Counter Order - ***ing Disorder

Order - Counter Order - ***ing Disorder

While the QE idly swings around her anchor above the Forth Bridges, according to Sky - if you believe it - https://news.sky.com/story/sacked-ca...rrier-11726533

It might be just that he had to 'dramatically' attend a routine meeting ashore, but the fact remains that a miserable set of wheels provided for the Captain, to make his official life ‘a little less complicated’ seems to have lost him his job.

The Navy would be the first to claim and require that while he is Captain in Command, he is considered to be on duty 24 - 7 - 365, thus he has no unofficial life unless on formal leave with a designated relief.

I await the real truth with interest. The crew of the QE will probably be more interested in when they're going to get home leave.


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Old 23rd May 2019, 09:19
  #5480 (permalink)  
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Whatever the details of the vehicle allegations, was the theatrical stunt of flying him ashore really necessary?
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