The Plymouth-based Royal Naval warship HMS Sutherland visited Germany last weekend.
The ship’s diplomatic visit to Hamburg from last Friday was part of the ship’s engagements before she enters a period of re-fit and refit.
Official receptions were held on board hosting for Naval Regional Command and on behalf of UK Trade and Industry.
Her return to Devonport on completion of this last visit will mark the end of an era, as all but 50 members of the crew depart for pastures new and the ship enters a docking period.
HMS Sutherland will retain her fighting edge right up to the deep maintenance and refit, but first the ship will be demonstrating her capability in a multi-national naval exercise Joint Warrior off the north coast of Scotland.
Commander Al Wilson, the commanding officer of HMS Sutherland said,
“It is fantastic to have the opportunity to visit a port as diverse and interesting as Hamburg, allowing us to maintain our strong links with the German Navy and European counterparts.”
The visit also presents a rare opportunity for interaction with her affiliated regiment, 4 Scots, based in Fallingbostel.
“On top of that, it is a period of ‘down time’ that all sailors are looking forward to.”
HMS Sutherland will also open to the public for some of her time alongside in Hamburg, allowing locals the opportunity an insight into a Royal Naval warship and crew.
Press Release, October 16, 2013; Image: Royal Navy