Royal Navy frigate HMS Somerset left Plymouth for a six-month deployment to support UK interests globally.
The Devonport-based warship quietly slipped out of Plymouth Sound fully prepared for the mission ahead. The ship was waved off in the traditional fashion by friends and family at Devil’s Point. The crew of 215 will return after completing varied operational tasking in the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and the Gulf.
HMS Somerset’s commanding officer, Commander Mike Smith, said: “I am very proud to be commanding one of the Royal Navy’s most capable warships as we leave the UK today. I have every confidence that HMS Somerset will succeed on any operational mission we are given, wherever we are needed, over the next six months. My ship’s care ready to meet any challenge.”
The Royal Navy has a continuous presence East of Suez for many years and HMS Somerset will be the latest ship as the Royal Navy’s commitment to the region. The first port of call will be Gibraltar for a routine visit before proceeding east across the Mediterranean.
Many of the crew are deploying away from the UK for the first time with the Royal Navy. The next six months will be an adventure for them particularly. First-timer, Sub-Lieutenant Phoebe Coutts said: “Serving on a fully operational warship, during an operational deployment, is what everyone joins the Royal Navy to do. I am particularly excited by the opportunities to broaden my experience and understanding in the next few months.”
HMS Somerset, the West Country’s favourite warship, has completed a nine-month long package of training and material preparations in and around Devonport before being ready to deploy as a warship ready in all respects to play her part in protecting the nation’s interests overseas.