UK: HMS Richmond Due Home on Friday
The Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigate HMS Richmond returns to Portsmouth on Friday (February 21) following a successful seven-month Atlantic patrol.
The frigate has spent 2,881 hours at sea, covered 33,316 nautical miles, visited seven foreign countries (Portugal, Cape Verde, South Africa, Panama, Colombia, Bahamas and the United States of America) and five British Overseas Territories (Ascension Island, St Helena, Falkland Islands, Tristan da Cunha and South Georgia).
Reflecting on the ship’s return to Portsmouth, HMS Richmond’s Commanding Officer, Commander Robert Pedre, said: “HMS Richmond has enjoyed a hugely successful seven-month operational deployment, conducting maritime security operations in the Atlantic, Antarctic, Eastern Pacific and Caribbean Sea.
“Furthermore, we have been honoured to undertake defence diplomacy on five continents hosting an array of senior dignitaries, demonstrating the UK’s commitment to the region and protecting our nation’s interests.
HMS Richmond has conducted a wide range of operations including working with the Cape Verde Coast Guard to conduct training, maritime security patrols of the Exclusive Economic Zones of Ascension Island, St Helena and Tristan Da Cunha (all British Overseas Territories) and assisting members of the British Antarctic Survey to reach South Georgia for conservation work.
In the Falkland Islands the ship visited various settlements across the Islands and trained with the British Army and Royal Air Force.
Once through the Magellan Strait and en-route to Panama, further security patrols were conducted in support of British allies in the Eastern Pacific.
In Panama, HMS Richmond hosted senior cross-Panamanian Government representation and Her Majesty’s Ambassador.
A transit through the Panama Canal was followed by a visit to Colombia where the ship hosted a high-profile Ministerial visit and Defence and Security Industry day. A visit to Nassau in the Bahamas included a Royal Reception with Her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent taking the salute at Ceremonial Sunset.
The final stop was Fort Lauderdale, Florida to embark stores for the final leg of the deployment followed by some training with the United States’ Coast Guard.
Regarding her first deployment, Engineering Technician (Weapons Engineering) Scarlett Johnson said: “The deployment over the past seven months presented a number of challenges and experiences.
“Highlights have included working in a wide range of conditions where we were given the opportunity to meet and learn about people from several different cultures “Also the milestones that we crossed, including crossing the equator and visiting one of the most southerly populated places on the planet, and the personal achievements which we were given the chance to strive for, such as studying for further A levels.”
|HMS RICHMOND SPECIFICATIONS|
|Range||14,485 kilometres (9,001 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)|
[mappress] Press Release, February 20, 2014; Image: Royal Navy