Alnwick sailor guards the Olympics

Warfare Specialist Joe Pope, 19, receives his certificate and branch badge from Second Sea Lord Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Montgomery KBE.
Warfare Specialist Joe Pope, 19, receives his certificate and branch badge from Second Sea Lord Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Montgomery KBE.

A sailor from Alnwick is off to watch the Olympics – from the deck of the nation’s frontline warship.

Able Seaman Joe Pope recently completed his professional training as a Warfare Specialist aboard HMS Collingwood in Fareham.

And the 19-year-old has now become part of the crew of HMS Bulwark, having received his certificate and branch badge from Second Sea Lord Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Montgomery KBE.

The 16,000-tonne amphibious assault ship will be stationed off Weymouth Bay, forming a giant piece in the Olympic security jigsaw. She will serve as the floating command and control headquarters supporting Dorset Police’s security team – the hub of a huge operation safeguarding sailing events off the seaside town.

Joe, an ex-pupil of Duchess Community High School Joe, only joined the Royal Navy on January 29.

He said: “It was a challenging 12 weeks at HMS Collingwood and I am glad to have completed the course. I now looked forward to joining HMS Bulwark at the 2012 Olympics.”