Every one of the 41 ships in the Royal Navy’s Portsmouth Flotilla will forger an even stronger bond with their home city after an unique affiliation was signed with the city. The leader of Portsmouth’s council and the Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral David Steel put their names to a special scroll marking the new link between the city and its sailors.
An agreement was signed on board Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan – the newest ship in the Royal Navy – at Portsmouth Naval Base.
Leader of the City Council, Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, who has been leading negotiations to establish the affiliation, said: “This is great news for the city. Portsmouth is different to affiliations for other ships.
“They may visit once a year to their affiliated city. Here in Portsmouth this is their home port and they are with us all the time.
“This is why we thought it was right to be affiliated to the whole of the Portsmouth flotilla.”
Commodore Paddy McAlpine, Commander of the Portsmouth flotilla said: “The crews of these ships and their families see Portsmouth as their home. Portsmouth is home for the majority of the surface ships of the Royal Navy.
“New ships joining the flotilla will also receive this affiliation, so the new aircraft carriers will receive this affiliation when they arrive here.
“In the next ten years the tonnage of naval shipping based in Portsmouth will rise to over 200,000 tonnes – higher than at any time since the 1950s.
“This means there will be huge investment by the Ministry of Defence into Portsmouth Naval Base, which will secure jobs for many years to come.”
Cllr Vernon-Jackson and Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral David Steel signed a special scroll during the ceremony on HMS Duncan’s flight deck. Lord Mayor, Cllr Lynne Stagg, was also in attendance.
Press Release, April 14, 2014, Image: Royal Navy