The Royal Navy frigate HMS Northumberland returned to Devonport Naval Base in Plymouth on Friday, 5 December, after a successful patrol policing international shipping lanes in the Middle East.
The vessel’s return marks the end of a successful seven-month patrol in the Arabian Gulf and Indian Ocean.
The ship has been engaged in a wide range of maritime security operations, including counter-piracy, counter -drugs, escort duties, boarding operations and international exercises, all designed to deter, disrupt illegal use of the sea to protect maritime security and secure freedom of navigation and trade for all nations.
During time in the theatre of operations HMS Northumberland’s boarding team has been a vital asset carrying out boardings of suspect vessels looking for illicit material such as narcotics or weapons, or vital intelligence to assist in the operation. These boardings usually last up to 12 hours.
The Royal Marines boarding party conducted joint training with the US Marine Corps in Bahrain.
Following boarding operations HMS Northumberland conducted a joint anti-submarine warfare exercise with the US Navy. As a specialist anti-submarine warfare ship, Northumberland tested her formidable skills against UK and US submarines.
HMS Northumberland visited Gibraltar, Souda Bay in Crete, Bahrain, Dubai and Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates, Mumbai in India, Muscat in Oman, Malta and Lisbon.
HMS Northumberland conducted 12 Straits of Hormuz transits, half a dozen Bab-el-Mandeb transits and covered 38,000 miles over 201 days. The ship will now undergo a period of maintenance.
Press release, Image: UK Navy/LA(Phot) Caroline Davies