HMS Westminster Sails into London, UK

HMS Westminster Sails into London, UK

Royal Navy warship HMS Westminster, which is affiliated to its namesake borough, has arrived on the Thames alongside HMS Belfast for a six-day regional engagement visit.

Sailing through the Thames barrier, beneath Tower bridge and past the O2, the Type-23 frigate gracefully transited through the capital city.

Her visit is an opportunity to strengthen and renew the affiliations that HMS Westminster has with a number of London-based organisations.

In addition, the ship’s commanding officer, Captain Hugh Beard, will pay a visit to the Lord Mayor of Westminster and host invited guests and dignitaries on board for a reception and capability demonstration.

The ship recently received the Frigates Efficiency Award, presented by Rear Admiral Jess (ACNS Support) at the end of January, much to her crew’s delight following an action packed 2012 of anti-piracy patrols, drugs busting, Gulf patrols and mid-Atlantic tasking.

The ship is one of the Royal Navy’s 19 highly capable multi-role frigates and destroyers – together with their embarked helicopters and Royal Marines Units – which are the workhorses of the Fleet, providing a highly-trained input to anti-piracy, counter-narcotics and anti-terrorism operations around the world.

Later this year, the ship will be assigned to the UK’s maritime quick-reaction force, the Response Force Task Group, deploying on an exercise to the Mediterranean called Cougar 13. From the autumn, she will deploy to the Middle East region.

HMS Westminster was built by Swan Hunter Shipbuilders on the Tyne, launched by Lady Livesay on February 9, 1992, and accepted into service at the end of 1993. She is the eighth ship to bear the name.

Naval Today Staff, March 18, 2013; Image: Royal Navy