UK: HMS Kent to Leave Portsmouth on Monday
Portsmouth based Type 23 frigate – HMS Kent – leaves Portsmouth on Monday (25/3) for a six-month deployment focussing on counter piracy operations in the Indian Ocean.
HMS Kent will continue the Royal Navy’s long-term presence East of Suez as she replaces HMS Northumberland currently on station.
The deployment will take the ship to countries such as India and the islands of the Seychelles.
Having been through intense training the ship is ready for a challenging deployment as part of the Royal Navy’s standing commitment in the Middle East, providing reassurance to the UK’s allies in the region, policing busy shipping lanes and carrying out maritime security and counter-piracy patrols.
HMS Kent’s Commanding Officer, Commander Ben Ripley, said:
“I am honoured to be commanding such a versatile ship as HMS Kent and with a crew which has worked so hard to bring her out of refit and get ready for this operational deployment.
“This type of deployment is what the ship is all about; deployed far from home, maintaining security of extremely important shipping routes and providing Britain with flexible capability.
“My ship’s company, is looking forward to the challenges of counter piracy operations coupled with seeing parts of the world they may not otherwise experience.”
During the six-month deployment the ship expects to visit the African and Asian continents as well as European nations.
These visits will provide the opportunity to train with other nations’ navies as well as enjoying some well earned sporting fixtures for the ship’s company.
The deployment is Kent’s first since an extensive refit in 2011.
Upgrades included a new sonar and medium-range gun which maintains her cutting-edge technology and flexibility to conduct a multitude of tasks such as anti-submarine, counter piracy, peacekeeping or humanitarian missions.
Naval Today Staff, March 22, 2013; Image: Royal Navy