Westminster goes to war!

TESTING CONDITIONS On board HMS Westminster during the exercise
TESTING CONDITIONS On board HMS Westminster during the exercise
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AFTER spending months on security patrols in the Indian Ocean, it was time for sailors in HMS Westminster to put their war-fighting skills to the test.

The Portsmouth-based frigate came under simulated attack in an exercise designed to put her ship’s company to the ultimate test.

CONTROL  Sailors taking part in the test

CONTROL Sailors taking part in the test

Sailors battled fictional fires and floods, hindered by destroyed equipment in darkened passageways, to keep the ship going on her mission.

Everyone on board was involved, from the warfare systems in the operations room to the bridge and marine engineers.

Able Seaman Jimmy Clements is part of the electronic warfare team and works in the operations room.

He said: ‘Having multiple simulated threats coming in and having to provide defensive solutions to the command definitely keeps you on edge.

INJURIES All outcomes were tested

INJURIES All outcomes were tested

‘However, we are all trained to a very high standard to deal with these threats.

‘That’s what makes the job so satisfying.’

Some members of the ship’s company played casualties during the exercise.

Medical Assistant Renee Sturgeon, who has only been on board HMS Westminster for a month, was one of those tasked with responding to the fictional medical emergencies.

She said: ‘Going to action stations and running around providing medical help can be quite strenuous, mentally and physically.

‘It definitely gets the adrenalin pumping, not knowing what is going to be thrown at you next.’

The ship had been in the Indian Ocean conducting maritime security, counter piracy, and counter-narcotics operations.