Sussex Association of Naval Officers (SANO)
"Maintaining naval contacts and interest in Sussex and beyond"

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Firstly, may I take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and all the very best for 2018. We have had a full and eventful year and have been fortunate to have had excellent speakers at our Lecture/Lunches. We are in the process of finalising our programme for the 2018 season. When all dates and speakers are confirmed a Programme of Events will appear in a subsequent Newsletter. (A provisional programme is available on the website).


If you wish to skip the small print below then the main message is that I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Healthy New Year; young as I am, that last part is taking on more and more significance! At the time of writing this message your committee has just held its annual planning meeting accompanied by excellent victuals hosted by the Minutes Secretary; the outcome of which is that we now have a provisional programme for 2018. Also at the time of writing almost everything in our loft space has been transferred to our back bedroom where several boxes of Christmas decorations now wait to be opened, contents rediscovered and strung, hung or flung into place on hangers, shelves and trees. Christmas is done ‘big’ in this household; we have collected decorations of all shapes and sizes (and voltages) from our travels various across the pond and throughout Europe. It takes about a week to put all of the decorations up but just a couple of days to bring them down and pack them away which is somewhat analogous to our Association.
This is my first Christmas message however, the content will be familiar! Your committee has, over the years, spent a lot of time building up the membership, enticing you with a variety of events and encouraging you to attend and support. If you have ideas along these lines please share them with us! None of us are getting younger and without new blood, or your support and your attendance the Association will fade away. Looking back over the past year I am happy to say that the above gloomy prediction has not yet come to pass. We have held two formal dinners, four lecture/lunches (one shared in the evening with the Sussex URNU and one as part of the AGM) and two outings – a visit to Portsmouth (lunch in HMS Nelson wardroom) and a railway pub. All of these met our minimum attendance numbers but we would always love to see more. The New Year now sees a similar programme – dates are set, arms are being twisted and venues and speakers being confirmed; I hope you will be able to take part and support your Association.
Returning to the message: I hope that this Christmas sees you united with families and friends, that Santa fulfils your wishes and that the mulled wine never runs out; for the New Year I hope that it is Happy, Prosperous and Healthy; that Brexit is resolved, that you enjoy street parties for royal weddings and births and, for those who qualify, you spend your Christmas bonus and winter fuel allowance wisely.
My very best wishes,

Richard Stanton
Chair Sussex Association of Naval Officers



We were very fortunate to have our Chairman, Richard Stanton stand in at the eleventh hour replacing our guest speaker who was unable to attend. Richard gave a very interesting and informative lecture on the development of the submarine from ‘Bushnell’s Turtle’ right up to the modern day ‘Astute Class.’ The technicalities of construction, engineering and propulsion were also explored touching briefly on the workings of the nuclear reactor in order to produce steam. From time to time accidents do occur and Richard, in his talk, illustrated the procedures which are employed in rescuing the crew of a distressed submarine. It was concluded that HTP was responsible for an explosion in the Russian submarine ‘Kursk.’ The UK assisted in what turned out to be an abortive rescue attempt but nonetheless, on this occasion, Mr Putin showed gratitude and undertook the refurbishment of the mast of HMS Belfast as a quid pro quo!



It was purely by chance that I happened upon this Museum whilst on a short break to New York. Casually gazing out of my hotel window on the morning after my arrival the evening before, I was astonished to see a large aircraft carrier and a submarine just below. This in fact was The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and is dedicated to the exhibition and interpretation of history, science and service as related to its home aboard the aircraft carrier Intrepid, a National Historic Landmark. Launched in 1943, the former aircraft carrier USS Intrepid fought in World War II, surviving five kamikaze attacks and one torpedo strike. The ship later served in the Cold War and the Vietnam War. Intrepid also served as a NASA recovery vessel in the 1960s. It was decommissioned in 1974, and today is berthed on the Hudson River as the centrepiece of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. The former USS Growler first opened at the Intrepid Museum in 1989 and is the only American guided missile submarine open to the public. Growler offers museum visitors a first hand look at life aboard a submarine and a close-up inspection of the once "top-secret" missile command centre. It carried the SSMN-9 Regulus II cruise missile which was a supersonic guided missile armed with a nuclear warhead. Well worth a visit! (Ed)



One of our members attending a recent Taranto Night Dinner at the Joint Services Staff College at Shrivenham was taken by the courtesy extended to the RAF by the RN speaker (Rear Admiral with the difficult title of ACNS Aviation, Amphibious Capability and Carriers ( ie the Head of the FAA !). In acknowledging the large number of RAF Officers present, headed by the AVM Commanding the College, he drew attention to the RAF Centenary to be celebrated in 2018 – “ Congratulations, and what a party that will be – may well match the similar RN event in the 1650s !”



When dates and speakers are confirmed a complete programme will appear here. FYI Key Dates for 2018 - Good Friday 30 March. Easter Monday 2 April, Other bank Hols: 7 May, 28 May, 27 August

Best wishes, Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year,