HMS Kent Returns to Portsmouth, UK
As the sun sets on the first Exercise Joint Warrior of 2014 HMS Kent has returned to her Portsmouth home following the high-tempo three-week deployment.
The Type 23 frigate had been working as part of an international task force exercising off the coast of Scotland in a bi-annual war game called Joint Warrior.
More than 13.500 personnel from all three Armed Forces from nine NATO countries took part – including the UK, Denmark, France, US and Norway.
Using a fictional exercise scenario that focused on a regional power struggle, it was the job of the task force to react as part of a UN mandated multinational security operation.
Surgeon Lieutenant James Watson, the Medical officer on board HMS Kent, said: “Kent operated in multiple roles throughout the exercise both by day and night.
“We initially assisted with the Royal Marine landings on the beach as part of amphibious assault operations before attention shifted to the ship’s primary role of anti-submarine warfare.
“With her embarked Merlin helicopter – call sign Pegasus – in the air, which is equipped with dipping sonar and Kent’s own world-class array of sonar and radar, she was able to effectively detect and target ‘enemy’ force submarines, protecting the task group from the under-water threat.”
As the Royal Marines from 3 Commando Brigade landed onto three entry points along Luce Bay near Stranraer to assault key enemy positions, HMS Kent used her 4.5inch Mark 8 gun to provide gunfire support.
She also protected herself from surface and air threats using her 30mm cannon and Sea Wolf Missile targeting systems.
To maintain her time on the exercise HMS Kent replenished at sea with Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship Orangeleaf, keeping her fuel for the ship and embarked helicopters stocked up.
“It has been a challenging and highly successful few weeks, which has helped the ship prepare and train her crew,” added Surg Lt Watson.
Press Release, April 17, 2014; Image: Royal Navy