The Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigate, HMS Portland, will sail into Belfast this weekend in support of major exhibition.
Arriving on September 26, the 133-metre ship will go alongside in Belfast Harbour and will remain in port until Monday September 30.
During the five-day visit, the ship will be particularly busy in support of the Belfast Armed Forces Career Exhibition at Kinnegar Logistics Base, Holywood and will play host to organised groups, as well as opening to exhibition attendees. This also includes a forum for students who are interested in a career in engineering.
The Commanding Officer of HMS Portland, Commander Sarah West, said:
“I am delighted that HMS Portland is able to visit Belfast. The city is a popular destination with the Royal Navy due to the hospitality of the people and the range of activities available. My Ship’s company are excited about the visit.”
Weapon Engineer Officer Lieutenant Commander John Brennan stated:
“I am pleased that HMS Portland is able to participate in the engineering forum and the exhibition as a whole.
“The Royal Navy offers fantastic career opportunities and we are looking forward to showing potential recruits the impressive capabilities of a modern warship, whilst being able to meet the personnel who serve in her.”
The ship’s sports teams will be in action against local teams throughout the visit with a busy fixture list that includes football, golf, netball and both men’s and ladies’ rugby. This will be the first time that the ship’s teams have participated in competitive fixtures since her upgrade.
HMS Portland completed a 12-month upgrade period to her weapons and sensors at Rosyth in December 2012, making her the most modern and capable frigate within the Royal Navy. Throughout 2013 HMS Portland has undertaken an extensive trials programme and a period of operational sea training.
HMS Portland is continuing to generate towards an operational deployment in 2014 and will spend the autumn conducting further operational sea training.
Press Release, September 26, 2013; Image: Royal Navy