UK: HMS Somerset Returns to Active Fleet

HMS Somerset Returns to Active Fleet

HMS Somerset returned to the active Fleet on Friday 15th March 2013 following an extensive package of sea trials, after a large upgrade package for the Plymouth based Type-23 frigate. She returns to the Fleet with improved sustainability and fighting capability.

Commodore Jake Moores OBE ADC Royal Navy, Commodore Devonport Flotilla, gave HMS Somerset the seal of approval when he visited the Ship for its Fleet Date Inspection in her home port of Devonport on Friday. The inspection marks an important date in the Ship’s regeneration cycle.

Having spent nine months alongside for a £20m refit, HMS Somerset went to sea in January this year to carry out a stringent set of sea trials, to make sure all of her equipment was working as required. This period was also used to get the crew reacquainted with life and routines onboard their refurbished warship.

For some of Somerset’s younger sailors, going to sea for the first time, the sea trials period was daunting.

Steward Rachel Tiley commented:

“It’s been hard work but exciting. I wasn’t sure what to expect at first but we all pulled together as a team and I’m really looking forward to the challenges we will face over the next few months.”

HMS Somerset has proved she has what it takes to return to the active Fleet and all those with an association to the Ship can be justly proud.  She has proven her ability to operate safely with her navigation, ship handling and core war fighting abilities having been verified.  The newly kitted out galley has been providing exceptional food; radars, sonars and communications are all working, guns have been fired and missile systems tested.  In summary, the Ship once again looks and feels like a Warship ready for future challenges.

HMS Somerset Returns to Active Fleet

The Commanding Officer of HMS Somerset, Commander Mike Smith said:

“I am extremely proud of my Ship’s Company for bringing Somerset successfully through sea trials to the standard we are at today.” Adding: “We have all worked incredibly hard over the last few months to ensure that we return to the Fleet ready and able to play our part.  Our focus now shifts to training in preparation for operations.”

The Commanding Officer also took the opportunity to recognise the particular efforts of some of the Ship’s Company by presenting a number of efficiency awards.  He also presented medals to members of the Ship’s Company for operations off Libya and for Long Service and Good Conduct.

HMS Somerset now looks towards a package of tailored Operational Sea Training, after some well earned leave.

Naval Today Staff, March 22, 2013; Image: Royal Navy