Commander British Forces South Atlantic Islands, Air Commodore Russell La Forte CBE, based in the Falkland Islands, MPA, was welcomed aboard HMS Richmond by Commanding Officer, Commander Robert G Pedre, and the ship’s company.
Embarking via the ship’s helicopter, the primary aim of the Air Commodore’s visit was to see HMS Richmond demonstrate the many and varied roles, and capabilities, that a Type 23 frigate is capable of delivering.
This also included examples of how HMS Richmond is capable of operating as a single unit for extended durations, whilst maintaining readiness to support tri-service units when required.
Taking time to meet personnel from every department onboard the ship, Air Commodore La Forte enjoyed learning how the ship’s company worked together to support their current tasking.
He even took the opportunity to develop some ‘hands-on’ experience during one of the ship’s regular damage control exercises by joining one of the pumping and flooding teams in order to experience how the ‘internal battle’ was fought.
For Chief Petty Officer Garry Jones the highlight of the visit was the presentation of his Long Service and Good Conduct medal by Air Commodore La Forte.
Having previously served in the Royal Air Force for almost 9 years before transferring to the Royal Navy, Chief Petty Officer Jones enjoyed reminiscing with the Air Commodore about previous RAF postings that they had both completed.
Chief Petty Officer Jones said he was delighted ”to have received my LS&GC medal from Air Commodore La Forte, particularly due to my previous service in the RAF.”
HMS Richmond continues her deployment in the South Atlantic undertaking 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 Britain's interests.