HMS Astute Returns from First Operational Deployment
The first of Class in the Royal UK Navy’s most advanced fleet of attack submarines, HMS Astute, returned to HMNB Clyde on Tuesday (October 7) after spending eight months at sea on her first operational deployment.
The Commanding Officer of the submarine, Commander Gareth Jenkins, said: “This deployment has been a huge success for HMS Astute. The submarine has travelled more than 27,000 miles and operated with our regional partners in the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.”
Having left Faslane in mid-February, HMS Astute sailed from UK waters in March to become the first Astute Class to contribute towards the UK’s presence in the Mediterranean.
A call in to Gibraltar allowed the boat to demonstrate some of the unique capabilities of the Astute Class, while she also went alongside at the NATO facility on the island of Crete.
After transiting the Suez Canal in July, the boat provided support to counter-smuggling operations, contributed towards defence diplomacy in Bahrain and took part in an international exercise in the Gulf of Oman.
In August, the ship’s company were able to welcome a new captain, when Commander Gareth Jenkins took control of the submarine from outgoing Commander Stephen Walker, who had been in charge since September 2012.
Returning westbound, the submarine undertook further operations with US Maritime aircraft before returning to Crete for a final time in mid September to collect five students from the latest UK Submarine Command Course, known as ‘Perisher’.
This was the first SMCC to be conducted on an Astute Class submarine and to be held entirely within the Mediterranean.
Press Release, October 10, 2014; Image: UK Navy