Thursday, November 18, 2010


For services Rendered.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Originally uploaded by Daryl Wilkes

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Here is the Present Love Boat!

The RFA Cardigan Bay.

It was launched at BAE Systems Naval Ships shipyard in Govan, Glasgow on Saturday 9 April 2005.

It had been due to be launched the day before. There was a large invited crowd in the shipyard, and a few hundred people had gathered on the north shore of the River Clyde at Scotstoun. At around 15 minutes to the scheduled launch time four tugs, including Warrior and Shannon, started moving into position for the launch. However the ship manager decided that because of high winds and low water it was not safe to launch the ship, and at around 20 minutes after the scheduled time he decided to call off the launch for that day. There was an unusual north wind, which could have retarded the tide coming up the Firth of Clyde. They did go ahead with the naming ceremony, launching red, white and blue balloons and confetti from high on the ship, but by 2.30pm she was still dry and all the crew off.

They decided to try to launch it again at the next daytime high tide the following day. There was still a wind, but from the east, the river did look significantly higher. Another crowd gathered on the north bank, but smaller than the day before. Four tugs, including Warrior and Battler took up position. A small boat with a large red flag with the word "LAUNCH" on it took position up-river. Just after 2 p.m. the ship slowly slid down the slipway into the river, then she was halted by a large pile of chains behind her. The four tugs surrounded her, ready to take her to the fitting-out basin.

The ship was commissioned on 6 March 2007 in Portland Harbour. Local Sea Cadets assisted, whilst some more from Kent provided an honour guard. Also present was the Commodore of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. The band present for the commissioning was The Light Cavalry Band, a regular Army band stationed in Bovington, Dorset.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

In Country

Hi all, Well I am finally here, after a very interesting couple of days travelling!!

I went to work in a Navy Base in Scotland on Wednesday, finished there,jumped in a hire car and arrived in RAF Brize Norton about 9 hours later(yes I got lost)

Then had a 9 hour wait in a transit lounge for my flightout to Kuwait. On arriving in Kuwait, there was a 2 hour wait at the Military Airport forprocessing.

Then an hour transport ride to the transit tent city to stayfor a few hours, before being bussed back to the base for another flightdown to Bahrain, where my ship was berthed.

On arrival there, no one wasthere to meet me!! Managed to cadge a lift from some Yanks and they dropped me off at the ship. I finally managed to get to bed in my mess (four manmesses - pure luxury) at 2200 local time.

Nearly 2 days since I had lastbeen to bed......Nothing changes in the military then. Its currently 39 Deg C out here at the moment.

It is a nightmare to work onthe upper decks and you are constantly having to drink water to stopyourself dehydrating.

Working in this environment will be unbelievably hard. Just standing doing nothing, not even in full kit, saps your energywithin minutes!! I am on a ship which will be patrolling the Northern Gulf, around the Iraq / Iran border.

What with all the tension at the moment, we are in a slightlyhigher state of readiness.

We have a load of Yanks onboard at the moment. We will be doing boarding Ops with them soon.

I managed to grab a last weekend with the Hazel and the kids before I sailed, which was great.

Connor was fascinated with all my gear and wantedto play "armies" with me bless him.

I am trying to put some of my pictures up on Flickr.


The Buffalo Sailor

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tour of Duty


Today I fly to the Gulf.

I get to do my bit in Op Telic get a tan and a nice shiny medal too.

Here's me sitting at RAF Brize Norton awaiting my flight to the Gulf.

Much love, and see you all in 6 months.


The Buffalo Sailor

Monday, June 22, 2009

Child Soldiers, Push 'em to the front. Make men of them.


One final course left to do and this one is in Sunny Scotland, Just around the corner from my home, so was able to have the weekend with the Missus and Kids.

Flying out this week, so I had to have all my kit with me and as you can see below, Connor loved it.

The Buffalo Sailor

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fire, Fire.

So, there I was minding me own business when this Fire attacked me.

It was HOT! So me and the other Seaman we tried to put it out, bloody good fun.
The Buffalo Sailor.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

One final Op in London Town

'Shake, Shake, Chest...!'

So this was it, the final exercise before the real 'stuff'.

I was sent in deep to London Tahn, well North East London to be a bit more exact.

My Oppo was an old veteran at this game and it was his last chance to pass on any last minute tips and tricks.

It got a bit messy towards the end. Dirty Kebab.

Me and my Oppo.

Escape & Evasion

Got Lucky

Me too

Nearing the end

Camo technique

Can see the light now

To the victor, the spoils.
The Buffalo Sailor

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Stand Easy.

stand easy.
Originally uploaded by Daryl Wilkes
On a tea break! Hard work.


The Buffalo Sailor.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Clear, Ease Springs...

...and for once that's not a euphemism.

This is my Weapon, this is my Gun, this is for fighting, and this is for fun.

From the hip, full auto.

Hot Lead anyone.

Now that IS one.


The Buffalo Sailor.

Look at my War Face !

Look at me !

I'm like Tom Selleck without the 'Tache.
All I need now is a large weapon in my hands, and I can tell you , it's been a looooong time since I held one of those !
Much Love,
The Buffalo Sailor.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Pants, Check. Socks, Check, Cod Piece......

Bonjour my lovelies.

Today I was issued my 'ahem' war kit.
I wanted the multi coloured version with the clours all bright and flourescent.
They gave me the sand coloured co-ordinated stuff instead.

Tomorrow I get to play with my weapon.


Sunday, June 07, 2009

Gone through London

I have passed through London and am now on the way to Portsmouth!

I was given a parade in my home town as a send off, and this cheecky chap stuck 2 fingers up at me. So I cut his thumbs off.


The Buffalo Sailor