Richmond Council Members
Visit U.K. Royal Navy Carrier
By PETER ATKINSON, Deputy Editor
Agroup of about 50 Richmond,
Va., Council members were
treated to a unique visit aboard the
U.K. Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS
Ark Royal during its late-March port
call to Norfolk Naval Station.
By special invitation of Capt. M.
P. Mansergh, commanding officer of
Ark Royal, the group was given a
three-hour tour March 29 of the
Invincible-class carrier, which recently was converted to a “
Commando Carrier” capable of carrying
an Embarked Military Force of
approximately 400 Royal Marines or
British Army soldiers, as well as
operating Chinook, Lynx, Apache
and Sea King helicopters. Ark Royal
also can operate in the more conventional strike carrier role.
Group members visited each
department aboard the carrier,
according to Past President Ed Gibbons, with crew members explaining the functions they served on the
ship. The Sailors “could not have
been more cordial or more accommodating,” he said.
On the bus ride from Richmond
to Norfolk, Council Director Allen
Palmer, a British ex-patriot, presented the group members with
miniature Union Jack flags that
they displayed throughout the day.
The trip was arranged by Robert
S. Kerno Jr., commanding officer of
the Aegis cruiser USS Normandy,
one of the council’s adopted ships,
and George Feitig, the council’s
liaison with Normandy. Ark Royal
was in Norfolk to participate in
joint exercises with Normandy and
other U.S. and U.K. naval assets in
Following the ship visit, group
members spent the afternoon
along the Norfolk Waterfront,
according to Gibbons, with some
touring the Hampton Roads Naval
Museum and boarding the battleship USS Wisconsin.
St. Maarten/St. Martin
Hosts USCG Aircraft Crew
The St. Maarten/St. Martin Council
welcomed its first U.S. Coast Guard
search-and-rescue aircraft in late
The Invincible-class aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal at its berth at Norfolk
Richmond, Va., Council members wave miniature Union Jack flags after arriving at Norfolk Naval Station for their tour aboard Ark Royal.