A ceremony marking HMS Edinburgh’s return to the fleet after a £17.5m upgrade took place at Portsmouth Naval Base last week. The Portsmouth-based Type 42 destroyer - which was out of action for 18 months for the refit - was “re-Christened” in a colorful re-dedication ceremony in front of hundreds of guests.
During the 30-minute service - conducted by Chaplain of the Fleet the Reverend Scott Brown, – the 225 ship’s company paraded in front of their new-look ship on Victory Jetty. A ceremonial guard of 24 sailors was inspected by Guest of Honor Major General Garry Robison, the Navy’s Chief Of Staff (Capability).
Guests included families of the ship’s company, former commanding officers and representatives of HMS Edinburgh’s affiliate organizations. The ceremony was rounded off in traditional fashion with the cutting of a re-dedication cake by the youngest member of the ship’s company.
HMS Edinburgh completed in October her refit with BAE Systems in Portsmouth to upgrade propulsion machinery, auxiliary and weapons systems, sensors and accommodation.
Commander Russell said: “Having completed a comprehensive refit and sea trials period, HMS Edinburgh is ready, once again, to conduct operations as part of the Fleet. We have achieved this significant milestone with the perseverance, hard work and sheer determination of the ship’s company, BAE Systems and Superintendent Fleet Maintenance in Portsmouth”.
He added: “I was particularly delighted to share this day with so many families. The Navy places tremendous demands on us all and the support of our families and friends has played a major part in helping HMS Edinburgh get back to sea in such good order.
We are very proud of our ship and what we have achieved so far, and this is just the beginning of our adventures. We are now looking forward to the demands of operational sea training.”
Since completing the refit the ship has completed a comprehensive trials program to ensure the upgrades are operating effectively and that she is ready for training and operations.
The next step is to ensure the crew is also up to the challenge of operational duties by completing an intensive eight-week period of operational sea training. Next spring the ship will be available for deployment anywhere in the world.
Rededications are traditional religious services which carry customs dating back to the reign of King Henry VIII.