Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigate HMS Portland departed naval base Plymouth today on a nine-month deployment Middle East and the Atlantic Ocean with the Combined Maritime Forces.
The frigate is also due to take part in multi-national maritime operations with navies from several nations, strengthening the UK’s defense relationships.
The crew has been preparing for this deployment for the last six months and has completed an extensive training program delivered by the world-renowned staff of flag officer sea training.
This honed their skills as war-fighters with a series of increasingly complex scenarios and included training in the varied non-combat tasks that Portland may be expected to face, ranging from searching suspect vessels, to providing humanitarian aid in the wake of a disaster, or conducting an evacuation of British citizens from a global trouble spot.
The ship has also completed major engineering work to upgrade various systems and prepare her for the busy forthcoming program. This was followed by firings of the primary missile system, Sea Wolf.
The ship’s commanding officer, Captain Paul Stroude, said: “I am immensely proud to be leading my ship’s company on this important deployment.
“We have all worked hard to get to this point and although we will miss our families hugely, we are looking forward to the challenges ahead.’’