Ex-West Hill Pupil Shaun Sails with NATO
Monday 1st February 2016 @ 14:31 by Tom Greggan
News Stalybridge

A former West Hill pupil is serving aboard the Royal Naval frigate HMS Iron Duke as it sails into Baltic waters as part of a NATO Task Group.

Engineering Technician Shaun Rigby, a ship’s communication and information systems engineer, will spend the next six months in the Baltic region.

The 23-year-old said: “Having joined Iron Duke straight from training I’m really excited to get to sea on an operational tour and start putting all my training into practice.

“I have never been to many of the places that we are due to visit and am looking forward to getting ashore when I can.”

Portsmouth based Iron Duke is one of the UK’s most capable warships, able to operate in all regions of the world with a multi-role capability that means it has fighting capability against Air, Surface and Sub-Surface threats.

For many of the ship’s company it is their first lengthy trip away from home but their training has taught them to deal with displaced populations, evacuees, hostile forces and visiting dignitaries along with the more complex war fighting practice.

ET Rigby added: “The biggest challenge for me is leaving family and friends behind for six-months, especially my girlfriend who is currently pregnant and expecting our first child when the ship returns in the summer.”

The Portsmouth-based ship is due to return in July.