The crew of the Royal UK Navy warship HMS Portland returned home to Plymouth on Friday, August 1, after a successful seven-month deployment to West Africa, the Falkland Islands and the Caribbean.
HMS Portland has undertaken maritime security operations including counter narcotics and anti piracy patrols in the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The ship has also participated in multi national maritime exercises with Navies from 15 nations, strengthening the UK’s Defence relationships, while working together to ensure freedom of navigation and trade for all nations.
In West Africa in the early part of the deployment HMS Portland conducted defence engagement activities with a number of maritime security conferences hosted onboard, aimed at improving regional co-operation to tackle illicit maritime activity in and around the Gulf of Guinea
During port visits, the ship’s company used their expertise to train sailors from West African nations in exclusive economic zone security, fire-fighting and damage-control, boarding techniques and basic infantry skills. This training is helping to build the capacity of the UK’s allies to enhance the conduct of effective maritime security operations in their own waters.
The port visits were also used to assist local communities.
The ship spent four weeks patrolling the waters around the Falkland Islands. Crew took part in memorial services in the Falklands to remember all those who lost their lives during the 1982 conflict.
In the Caribbean HMS Portland embarked a United States Coast Guard law enforcement team for four weeks of counter narcotic patrols to disrupt the flow of drugs into Europe and America. The presence of HMS Portland in the area acted as a deterrent, preventing the transportation of drugs by sea.
HMS Portland has visited 17 countries and steamed 31,400 nautical miles, consuming 3,571,000 litres of fuel.