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British Navy embraces Web for war games

[With military chit-chat] We always said they were the finest

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Updated The British Navy is taking the Internet to its heart in its new three-month military manoeuvres in the Gulf starting next month.

The commanders of the biggest deployment of ships since the Falklands war will use a secure Net chatroom to discuss tactics and problems.

There will be over 40 commands in the exercises - called Argonaut 2001 - and the Navy decided the best way to communicate between them all would be to use modern Internet technology. Previously, all communication would have taken place over radio and video conference calls. However, the Navy has come to realise the uniqueness and speed of chatrooms for large numbers of people to share and impart information.

The one main problem with chatrooms though - that old gem of responding to a message meant for someone else or missing the meaning of it inside another conversation - is rectified by operational orders (given by Rear Admiral James Burnell-Nugent) being sent directly to each warship individually.

You've got to admire it. Nice to see that while the Royal Navy - once the pride of the nation and the most feared in the world - is a shadow of its former self, it is still looking forward.

Admiral Burnell-Nugent told The Times that chatrooms provide better reliability than previous methods of communication, and that every main warship now has its own military computer network through which it sets up chatrooms.

And just for the sake of completion, here's the full list of the Argonaut task force, which also includes the Army and the Air Force. ®

  • 1 Aircraft carrier
  • 2 Destroyers
  • 2 Nuclear-powered submarines
  • 2 Amphibious ships
  • 4 Frigates
  • 5 Mine counter-measure vessels
  • 7 Harrier GR7s
  • 8 Sea Harriers
  • 11 Support ships
  • 35 helicopters (Sea Kings and Lynxes)
  • 8,500 men and women

Here, by the way, is reader Barry Dorrans' vision of the Navy conversation:

<system>RearAdmiral has joined #northatlantic
<joe>A/S/L?
<seamanstains>Anyone want to see my missle?
<rating>ANYONE HAVE THE JLO SEX VIDEO?
<rating>ANYONE HAVE THE JLO SEX VIDEO?
<rating>ANYONE HAVE THE JLO SEX VIDEO?
<rating>ANYONE HAVE THE JLO SEX VIDEO?
<system>rating has been kicked for channel flooding
<pugwash>Any girls want to whisper?
<Brn-Ngnt>Will you all SHUT UP?
<seamanstains>Oh Brn-Ngnt you made my missle fire

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