Patrolling the shores of Gibraltar

My name is Tom Clark and I'm part of the team providing round the clock security to the waters around Gibraltar, here is an update on my deployment🇬🇮

I am one of nine Able Seaman Seamanship specialists here in Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron (RNGS).

My role is either Gunner or Navigator on one of our two patrol boats.

This entails maintenance on the weapon systems and checking the navigation equipment before sailing.

Tom Clark holding a rifle with Gibraltar ‘rock’ in the background whilst providing force protection to a designated vessel le
Tom Clark holding a rifle with Gibraltar ‘rock’ in the background whilst providing force protection to a designated vessel leaving Gibraltar.

I am also a rigid-hulled inflatable boat Coxswain — the guy thats in control of the boat. In this role, I am armed on one of our four Pacific 24 sea boats which patrol the waters and respond to any incident that we are directed to day or night.

If I am allocated as a member of the duty watch I am held at high readiness throughout the duration of the week-long duty period.

During this time we complete planned routine patrols but will remain reactive day or night.

We do a weeks duty, then usually day work for a week or two whilst the others in the squadron fulfil the duty watch.

During the day shifts, we will do maintenance tasks on all of the equipment that isn’t being used by the duty crew at the time.

This includes preparing the rigid-hulled inflatable boats or patrol boats, checking the right equipment is on board, cleaning weapons, conducting weapon training and making sure all the fire fighting/damage control equipment is in working order should it be required.

The back of the Patrol boat with the machine guns while on a sunrise patrol — with Gibraltar ‘Rock’ in the background.
The back of the Patrol boat with the machine guns while on a sunrise patrol — with Gibraltar ‘Rock’ in the background.

A highlight has definitely been the climate out here. Having come from the Falkland Islands with its cold climate to somewhere this hot is amazing.

When you are out on the water with the sun beaming down on you, topping up your tan and working at the same time, it seems surreal but within a moments notice we could be called upon to respond to an incident 24/7 365 days a year.

You can read about my previous deployment to the Falklands here…

Tom Clarke posing on South Georgia with Falklands penguins.
Tom Clarke posing on South Georgia with Falklands penguins.

Our mission out here is to to provide security in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters (BGTW) and to reassure the locals.

This is important because as recently reported in the news there is a large number of Government vessels whether this is Guardia Civil (Spanish Police), Spanish Military or any other Government vessels, that enters the Gribraltan waters every year.

The majority are just transiting through on innocent passage and don’t cause any issues, however, you do get a small number of Government vessels that breach the regulations of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

We are here to challenge their actions and it is positive that the local Gibraltarian people appreciate what we do and always give us a wave when we pass them out on the water.

Find out where the UK Armed Forces are deployed here:

--

--

--

Stories from the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the UK Armed Forces around the globe.

Recommended from Medium

Ethiopia’s Opportunity to Choose Humanity Over Nationalistic Pride

Joint Helicopter Command (JHC): Enablers and multipliers of humanitarian aid and rescue

French Presidential Elections

Bengal assembly election 2021: BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari, who won from Nandigram, attacked in Haldia

Design of Nation in Nation

Dynamic Mongoose: Submarine hunting

Submarines from France, Germany, Norway, United Kingdom and the United States under NATO Submarine Command.

Putin is a terrorist and the EU is completely fine with it.

How Have Brands Responded to the YES & NO Vote?

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Ministry of Defence

Ministry of Defence

DefenceHQ is the official corporate news channel of the UK Ministry of Defence.

More from Medium

The Eminem Show’s 20th Anniversary Review!

How three Washington cities are making their streets safer

A girl rides her bike past a mural depicting stars and planets, painted on the asphalt, and between temporary planters with young trees.

The Amazing Spider-Man #31–33 Review

The covers to The Amazing Spider-Man #31 (“If This Be My Destiny…), #32 (“Man on a Rampage!”), and #33 (“The Final Chapter!”), drawn by Steve Ditko.

I Was Wrong. Hacks Is Really, Really Funny