UK: HMS Portland Rededicated

HMS Portland Rededicated

The Ship’s Company of Type 23 frigate, HMS Portland was joined by 200 family, friends and close affiliate organisations to mark the ship’s reintegration into the Fleet after 12 months spent undergoing a weapon and sensors upgrade in Rosyth Royal Dockyard, Scotland.

A Rededication Ceremony is a traditional part of any Royal Navy unit’s life as she completes a period of refit and improvement.

The official date that HMS Portland is available for fleet tasking is expected to be the end of March.

HMS Portland’s Commanding Officer, Commander Sarah West, addressed her ship’s company and explained how immensely proud she was to command HMS Portland.

She acknowledged that they were very keen to return to sea and complete sea trials before commencing an intensive period of training prior to preparations for deployment in 2014. She said:

“I have the privilege to welcome you to HMS Portland’s rededication ceremony.

“It is a momentous day for the ship and her company as we look forward to sailing again to face the diverse challenges that Fleet and national tasking bring.

“Having joined Portland during her maintenance period, I have seen the full extent of her impressive regeneration.

“Such a significant upgrade to weapons and sensors in order to enhance the Ship’s capability has not been without challenges, but these have been overcome by the effective partnership between Babcock International, the recently formed Type 23 Class Output Management team and the Ship’s Company.”

Some 200 friends, family and affiliates were present on this special day and the guest of honour was the ship sponsor, Lady Heather Brigstocke.

Lady Heather Brigstocke became the ship’s sponsor in 1999 when she launched HMS Portland. Her husband, Admiral Sir John Brigstocke KCB was the Second Sea Lord at the time.

Lady Brigstocke inspected ceremonial divisions with members of the ship’s affiliated cadet units, Training Ship Penn, TS Swiftsure and Combined Cadet Force Bournemouth, parading alongside members of the crew.

Families of the ship’s company were joined by representatives of various organisations from their affiliated town of Portland, including members of the town council and comrades from the Wrens Society and Royal Navy Association.

The upgrade ensures that the ship is ready to be able to meet the United Kingdom’s varied commitments.

The crew will continue with sea trials before a period of training, ready to start operating around the world.

Naval Today Staff, March 14, 2013; Image: Royal Navy