Royal Navy’s type 23 frigate, HMS Richmond returned home to the Naval Base Portsmouth on December 11 after a nine-month deployment.
Sailing more than 40,000 miles, the Portsmouth-based Type 23 frigate travelled as far as the Indian Ocean on security patrols, where her crew intercepted their first major drugs haul, £26.5 million of heroin, followed by a second of £3 million of cannabis in the Mediterranean, just weeks before returning home.
The ship sailed to the Mediterranean to join the EUNAVFOR Med Operation Sophia against people smuggling where they were involved in multiple rescues, saving lives and disrupting people trafficking by putting smuggling vessels beyond use.
Her Lynx helicopter was used to identify smugglers at range, directly leading to the detention of suspected people traffickers.
Richmond also paid goodwill visits across the Indian Ocean from Zanzibar in Tanzania, to Goa in India, and took part in numerous exercises with coalition and allied forces.
Her Commanding Officer, Commander Mark Anderson, said: “We have achieved a great deal during this deployment. “I am extremely proud of every single member of my ship’s company; together we have saved lives, stopped traffickers, and disrupted illegal narcotic smuggling, helping to protect UK interests globally.”