Royal Navy frigate HMS St Albans arrived in London on March 7 for a four-day visit to the capital.
The visit of the Portsmouth-based warship coincided with International Women’s Day, the 100th anniversary of women in the Royal Naval Service, and National Apprenticeship Week.
Those on board took part in a number of events to mark the occasions, including welcoming schoolchildren on board to learn about the opportunities for women in the Royal Navy today and attending the House of Commons for a celebration of apprentices.
“My ship’s company are looking forward to some well-earned time ashore following a busy and successful operational period for us. My team is a mix of experienced sailors and people who are sailing for the very first time, and they have all achieved a great deal,” said Commander Chris Ansell, the Commanding Officer of HMS St Albans.
“We currently hold the duty of being the first responder for the nation should there be any need for a maritime response.
“Around 95 per cent of our nation’s trade and 35 per cent of our energy comes in to the UK via the sea so it’s a domain we need to protect and be active in policing.”
All Royal Navy ships can respond at short notice to sail and protect the UK’s interests in and around home waters, but the role of fleet ready escort means HMS St Albans is the first in line to react.
The duty involves protecting UK territorial waters, maintaining security and protecting sea lanes and UK infrastructure within our economic zone. That might include wind farms, fishing or oil platforms, plus a broad range of other activity that goes on in the seas around Britain.