Royal Navy frigate HMS Sutherland and her crew started a somewhat out-of-the-ordinary deployment on January 9, getting underway from their homeport at HM Naval Base Devonport.
What is special about the Type 23 frigate’s deployment is that Sutherland will be the first Royal Navy vessel to operate in Asia Pacific in recent years.
Her deployment to the region was announced by the new UK defense secretary Gavin Williamson in November 2017 who noted that the frigate’s deployment was a “demonstration of the UK’s commitment to the peace and prosperity in the region at a time when North Korea’s illegal weapons program is causing global concern”.
The frigate will be taking part in training and exercises together with US, Japanese and South Korean warships in the Korean Peninsula region.
Sister ship HMS Argyll will deploy to Japan to take part in exercises in December 2018 following participation in a Five Power Defence Arrangements exercise with Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia earlier in the year.