HMS Severn Returns Home to Portsmouth
Royal Navy patrol vessel HMS Severn completed an eight-month deployment across the Caribbean on July 17 as she returned home to Portsmouth.
The vessel provided security and reassurance to the British Overseas Territories and dependencies, travelling over 30,000 miles whilst away. The crew visited 29 ports, strengthening bonds across 20 different countries and islands, where they were on standby to assist in the event of a natural disaster.
The ship visited all of the British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean – Turks and Caicos, British Virgin Islands, Montserrat, Anguilla and Grand Cayman.
During these visits, the 48 ship’s company carried out training with local maritime fisheries enforcement agencies, worked with the Red Cross and got involved with the local community.
Strengthening ties and sharing expertise was an important part of the deployment. HMS Severn embarked Barbadian and Belizean Coast Guard Officers and developed working relationships with the US, Barbados, Bahamian and Belizean Coast Guards and the Dominican Republic, French (Martinique) and Netherlands (Aruba) Navies.
The ship also took part in the inaugural Aruba Sail Week 2015, conducting a sail-past and salute to the King and Queen of the Netherlands.
The later stages of the deployment saw HMS Severn take part in a multi-national Caribbean exercise called Tradewinds 15, working alongside the Mexican Navy, US Coast Guard, Royal Canadian Navy and Belizean Coastguard units as well as coastguards from the Eastern Caribbean.
Exercising in the waters off St Kitts and Nevis and Belize, the aim was to improve the ability of the nations to carry out a combined operation, responding to natural disasters and dealing with organised crime – two reasons why Severn was in the Caribbean.
The ship also conducted counter-narcotics operations in the Caribbean as part of the international effort to deter drug smuggling at sea. The Royal Navy has been involved in many counter-narcotic operations over the years, preventing millions of pounds worth of drugs reaching UK shores.
Image: Royal Navy