|Robyn Buckle works in the sickbay onboard |
HMS Albion, Flagship if the Royal Navy
(Luron Wright/Royal Navy).
Robyn Buckle began her working life in a local fish and chip shop. Now aged 25, she is serving as a medical assistant onboard HMS Albion, Flagship of the Royal Navy.
The 18,500 tonne assault ship is leading the Royal Navy’s Response Force Task Group, a maritime quick reaction force consisting of ships, helicopters and Royal Marines.
At the end of May the Task Group was diverted from a multi-national amphibious exercise to the Libyan coast. In an effort to increase pressure on Col Gaddafi, Apache helicopters from HMS Ocean were launched against selected military targets ashore, whilst HMS Albion acted as the floating command platform directing and guiding the Task Group.
“On the night of the first Apache mission I could see the lights along the Libyan coastline from the Ship”, said Robyn.
Robyn’s role is to help provide healthcare to HMS Albion’s ships company, and also to the Royal Marines and battle staff from Commander UK Task Group (COMUKTG) who are embarked onboard the ship for the duration of the deployment.
Robyn, who attended Westgarth Primary and Bydales Secondary School, said, “I always wanted a career where I could help people, so the role of medical assistant in the Royal Navy appealed to me straight away. The job is hands on. On a daily basis I could be doing anything from vaccinations and first aid to patient referrals, so I learn and experience new things every day”.
When HMS Albion is at ‘Action Stations’ Robyn is part of a team poised to respond to emergencies such as fire, floods, battle damage or a man overboard.
“In a crisis situation I would be among the first people on the scene in order to assess and treat any casualties. It is something we train for on an almost daily basis so it becomes second nature”.
Robyn, HMS Albion and the Task Group have now passed through the Suez Canal for a series of engagements designed to strengthen the UK’s relationships in the Middle East.
“Joining the Royal Navy was the best thing I have ever done. I have a brilliant job, I get to travel to new places and I have made friends for life – the best thing is I get paid to do all of this.
I’ve travelled to some great places with the Navy including New York, but Cleveland is definitely still home. Whenever I’m at sea I miss going out with my friends and family and taking my dogs for a walk especially in Saltburn woods or on the beach”.