Mansfield sailor Wayne Fisher enters into ‘entente cordiale’

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A 35-year-old Mansfield Royal Navy sailor has been involved in a short rendezvous with the most powerful surface warship based in Western European waters.

Petty Officer Wayne Fisher from Mansfield has been deployed on board the 858ft Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, as part of the multi-national Exercise Cougar.

Usually part of the crew on helicopter carrier HMS Illustrious, the flagship to the Cougar task group, Wayne is an expert in Above Water Tactical Warfare.

He has served on HMS Illustrious since February and said: “By managing the information exchange across the task group, we can ensure continuity and timely arrival of information relating to exercise and any potential credible threats to the fleet.

“Our inter-operability is essential and the advice that we provide on UK capabilities has been greatly appreciated.”

Wayne attended Shirebrook Upper Comprehensive (now Shirebrook Academy) until 1993. Since joining the Royal Navy in 1995, he has served in Iraq, the Far East, the West Indies and the United States.

He is married to Diann and has a 14-year-old daughter called Bridie. Diann is expecting a second child in December.

He and his Royal Navy colleagues from the Response Force Task Group (RFTG) have been working alongside their counterparts on France’s flagship. Personnel from HMS Bulwark and HMS Illustrious joined the 37,000-tonne Charles de Gaulle for an exercise called Corsican Lion.

It demonstrated how the UK can operate a high readiness contingency force – in this case Royal Marines from 45 Commando – alongside her allies using amphibious shipping and troops that are fully integrated at range from the UK.

Wayne added: “Working with the Charles de Gaulle offered a real insight into how a RFTG will look when the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers enter service by the end of the decade.”