October 3, 2017

Latest on the Love Sub - revealed as HMS Vigilant

Following Submarine Matters article of October 2, 2017 on ship/submarine romances more details of the SSBN likely remonce have been revealed.
Defencne Correspondent, (UK) Telegraph, October 2, 2017:
“Royal Navy submarine commander removed over claim of 'inappropriate relationship' with female officer” 

HMS Vigilant Commander (Cdr) Stuart Armstrong, UK Royal Navy (RN) “has been removed from his vessel amid claims of an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate."

Cdr Armstrong was taken off HMS Vigilant a 16 x Trident D5 missile armed Vanguard class SSBN submarine and relieved of his duties as a precaution while naval chiefs investigate the allegations.

"Naval sources said the investigation had been launched amid suspicions Cdr Armstrong’s relationship with an unnamed female officer was “closer than it should have been”.

It is understood the 41-year-old commander faces “a full range” of disciplinary measures if found guilty of any wrongdoing and could lose command of.”

HMS Vigilant, “one of Britain’s four Trident submarines, was not on nuclear deterrent patrol at the time and the Ministry of Defence said operations were not affected.” 
[Pete Comment - it may be that HMS Vigilant was restocking its Trident missiles at Kings Bay, Georgia, US nuclear submarine base or training at higly calibrated test ranges near that base.]

“Navy rules forbid any relationships between sailors in the same chain of command for fear it would lead to favouritism and undermine orders.

Relationships outside the chain of command are allowed, but there is a strict “no touching” rule during deployments.

Sources said the rules were considered particularly critical on submarine missions where sailors work in cramped conditions underwater for months at a time.

A source said: “This investigation is part of our duty of care to everyone on board, because of the possibility that command could be undermined by an inappropriate relationship.”

HMS Vigilant SSBN "Captain" (Commander) Stuart Armstrong. No George Clooney, but he was the most senior officer on the boat! (Photo courtesy Royal Navy, via The (UK) Times



Peter Coates said...

Two things.

1. The Executive Officer of HMS Vigilant has also been removed for an "improper relationship with a different female subordinate" This is in addition to HMS Vigilant's Captain being removed for an improper relationship.

Confused? "Naval sources said the removal of the top two officers from a vessel was “highly unusual”. see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/10/06/second-officer-removed-alleged-improper-relationship-female/

2. As I predicted in the SubMatt article above of October 3, 2017 (https://gentleseas.blogspot.com.au/2017/10/latest-on-love-sub-revealed-as-hms.html) HMS Vigilant was visiting the US (I guessed probably the US SSBN Naval Base at Kings Bay, Georgia - a guess unlikely to be confirmed by the Royal Navy)

See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/10/06/second-officer-removed-alleged-improper-relationship-female/ "As the allegations surfaced, two senior officers in the [UK Royal Navy] Submarine Service are understood to have flown from the naval base at Faslane to America, where [HMS Vigilant] was deployed"


Peter Coates said...

In May 2014 the UK Ministry of Defence reported https://www.gov.uk/government/news/female-submariners-make-history

Pioneering lieutenants Maxine Stiles, Alex Olsson and Penny Thackray have become the first women to serve on a submarine in the 110 years of the ‘Silent Service’

...During the rigorous training, previously only undertaken by men, the 3 female officers conducted operations on HMS Vigilant, [Vigilant was apparently the first (and only?) UK SSBN fitted out for female officers]

...Lieutenant [Maxine] Stiles will continue in her logistics officer post on board Vigilant"