Portsmouth-based frigate HMS Richmond has sailed for a routine seven months Atlantic Patrol Tasking which includes the South Atlantic. According to the official release she left Portsmouth on Monday 5 August and will maintain the continuous Royal Navy presence in the Atlantic and provide an ongoing protection and reassurance to British regions within the region.
The Atlantic Patrol Task will see HMS Richmond undertake maritime security operations, including counter-narcotics and anti-piracy patrols, providing opportunities to work with a number of other navies to further strengthen ties and demonstrate the Royal Navy’s commitment to the region.
She is expected to complement and replace HMS Argyll which is currently on the end of its Atlantic Patrol after having left Plymouth on February 18 and should be back by the end of the year
Commenting on the deployment, the Type 23 frigate Commanding Officer, Commander Robert Pedre, said: “HMS Richmond’s deployment represents the culmination of many months of planning and preparation. My ship’s company has worked tirelessly to ensure we are now ready for operations to protect our nation’s interests”.
The road to deployment has been a busy one for HMS Richmond. In February the ship’s company put trainee submariners through their paces off the west coast of Norway whilst taking part in the grueling multi-national Submarine Command Course.
In March, navigation students from the Maritime Warfare School joined the ship for an intensive training program covering several thousand miles along the South Coast of England, Irish Sea, Western Isles, Orkneys and Channel Islands.
Later that same month the Type 23 Frigate literally ‘hit’ a key milestone on her path toward deployment by completing 2 successful firings of her Sea Wolf surface-to-air missile system off the south coast of England, proving decisively her ability to track and destroy sea-skimming targets.
In April, alongside almost 50 other ships, countless aircraft and land troops, HMS Richmond played her part in supporting one of the largest European military exercises in recent years, Exercise Joint Warrior.
In May the crew completed a period of high intensity training at Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) followed by a comprehensive maintenance period in Portsmouth ensuring the ship was ready for her time at sea. (RN/MP).-