HMS Somerset has officially handed over her Operation Kipion duties to sister ship HMS Northumberland, after spending six months in the Indian Ocean and Gulf region.
The two Devonport based Type 23 frigates met at sea to transfer essential stores and key information to enable HMS Northumberland to continue the fight against piracy, narcotics smuggling, and criminal use of the high seas.
Members of HMS Somerset Ship’s Company were able to pass on their experience and knowledge about operations and port visits, before exchanging farewells as the warships went their separate ways.
Commanding Officer of HMS Somerset, Commander Mike Smith said: “Somerset has had a hugely successful deployment. My ship’s company can be extremely proud of what they have achieved over the past 6 months.”
Commodore Keith Blount OBE, Commander of the UK Maritime Component Command (UKMCC) based in Bahrain, said: “Since her arrival in the Gulf, HMS Somerset has made a significant contribution to Operation Kipion, in both a counter narcotics and counter piracy capacity.
“The Type 23 Frigate is perfect for the nature of the operations we conduct here, and this was proven by Somerset and her crew seizing one of the Royal Navy’s largest drug hauls in the region during her tour.”
While deployed in the region, Somerset was involved in a multi-million pound drugs seizure that sent a clear message to criminals operating in the area.
Press Release, July 01, 2014; Image: UK Navy