Royal Navy warship HMS Westminster currently on deployment in the Gulf of Oman, hosted Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Oman, Jamie Bowden, and the staff of the UK Embassy in Muscat Embassy, for an entertaining and informative day at sea.
The day was organised to demonstrate to the Ambassador and the Embassy staff, the capabilities of HMS Westminster, in particular its current mission of counter piracy and counter narcotics within the Gulf region.
In an action filled day, the guests were shown Westminster at her best. With tours of the ship’s key areas including the Operations Room, where an air defence scenario was played out by Westminster’s Warfare team. The ship’s fire fighting teams also demonstrated how they can react to emergencies on board.
On the bridge, Westminster’s Navigator Officer, Lt Rob Couzens explained how the ship is controlled at sea, with invited guests taking turns to steer a 4500 tonne warship!
Not content with these static displays, Westminster’s boarding team provided a demonstration using her sea boats and the ship’s flight displaying the capabilities that the Lynx Mk 8 helicopter can bring to boarding operations.
Westminster’s Commanding Officer Captain Hugh Beard said,
“It was a privilege to host the Muscat Embassy Staff and to say thanks for the support they have provided to Royal Navy warships in the 40 years that we have been operating in the region.”
“It was a thoroughly enjoyable day and we learnt a great deal from our guests about the country and the region.”
Westminster also had a brief visit the Chief of Staff to United Kingdom Maritime Component Command Bahrain, Captain Rob Bellfield. During his visit, Captain Bellfield met all departments to discuss how the ship’s company and equipment were holding up in the challenging conditions of the region.
Having spent 4 days in Muscat to bring on board vital engineering stores, fuel and food, HMS Westminster is now back underway working with allies to patrol the Gulf region. She returns to the UK in February 2014.
Press Release, October 11, 2013; Image: Royal Navy