Tidespring arrives in Faslane

Topic: Fighting armsRoyal Auxiliary Fleet

Spring is in the air in Faslane… RFA Tidespring that is, arriving at the Royal Navy’s home north of the border for the very first time.

The first of the UK’s new tankers built specifically to support HMS Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers and their task groups, Tidespring is the second largest vessel on the Navy’s books after the future flagship.

After supporting training for Royal Navy and foreign warships off Plymouth, the 37,000-tonne floating petrol station will be key to providing ‘black gold’ to participants of the first of this year’s Joint Warrior exercise, the biannual air, land and sea workout for the UK and Allied armed forces.

The naval element is dictated from Faslane, where ships such as the American Arleigh Burke destroyer USS Ross have begun to gather ahead of JW getting under way in earnest on Sunday and Monday.

Thirty-nine naval units from 13 nations will take part with many of them using maritime exercise areas off the western and northern coasts of Scotland, including Cape Wrath.

Such is the scale and scope of Joint Warrior – run each April and October – that it will also embrace the Sennybridge exercise area just outside the Brecon Beacons and Salisbury Plain.

The exercise is due to conclude on May.