On Thursday 23 November a group of Royal Navy ships returns from the Navy's longest deployment for several years. The Royal Navy's Task Group 2000 sailed from UK waters on 7 May and 207 days later they are back, having circumnavigated the globe.
Their purpose was to demonstrate the Royal Navy's continuing ability to deploy an operationally effective self-sustaining maritime force out of the UK area for a prolonged period of time. That demonstration is now complete and now the Task Group sails home to a welcome from loved ones and the congratulations of both the UK Task Group Commander and the Commander in Chief, Fleet.
Led by frigate HMS Cornwall, the Task Group included HMS Sutherland and the destroyer HMS Newcastle. They were supported in their seven-month voyage round the world by Royal Fleet Auxiliaries Fort Victoria and Bayleaf.
France assigned the frigate Aconit to operate as an integral part of the Task Group throughout the deployment. She is the first French ship to be assigned under the operational command of the Royal Navy and her place alongside British warships clearly demonstrates growing Anglo-French defence co-operation and ever closer relations between our countries.
Ships of NTG 2000 have visited 39 ports in 29 countries, exercised with the Navies of 22 nations, and each steamed 40,000 miles.
Task Group Commander, Captain Tim McClement OBE of HMS Cornwell summed up the experience:" This deployment has been a once in a career opportunity to encounter a huge diversity of countries and cultures. Although the Royal Navy periodically deploys ships to Australasia and the Far East, we rarely send a group of warships around the world
Source: Navy News ? Royal Navy