Royal Navy sailors onboard the Plymouth-based frigate HMS Argyll enjoyed a four-day visit to the maritime city of Hamburg in support of UK trade and Investment.
The ship was invited to Hamburg to enhance the UK participation in Hamburg’s prestigious Shipbuilding, Machinery and Marine Technology Trade Fair, an event providing companies from around the globe a chance to showcase their capabilities and seek fresh investment.
Commander Tim Neild, Argyll’s commanding officer, said: “I am delighted have showcased HMS Argyll and the Royal Navy as the backdrop to this high profile event. It is a rare privilege to be able to reinforce the great in Great Britain whilst fostering strong business relations by hosting a number of key events onboard before getting back to operations.”
With many UK-based companies in attendance it was also an ideal time to reinforce the ‘Great’ Britain campaign which was launched by Prime Minister David Cameron in 2012 to promote UK sport, nature and innovation whilst maximising the economic potential of UK industry overseas.
On arrival the ship hosted a high-profile dinner for 18 of Germany’s principal business leaders alongside the Consul General, Malcolm Scott and representatives from UKTI. The centre-piece of the visit was the official reception held onboard when HMS Argyll, as the first Royal Navy ship to bear the logo of the ‘Great’ Britain campaign, hosted the newly appointed British Minister for Business and Enterprise the Right Honourable Michael Fallon MP and the British Ambassador to Germany, Simon McDonald amongst a large and distinguished business and diplomatic guest list.
Guests were treated to a Beat the Retreat parade by the Royal Logistic Corps Band, the ship’s guard took the salute of the Minister and ceremonial sunset was conducted in front of a hugely impressed audience.
HMS Argyll also opened its gangway to the public with visitors given a tour of the ship and a first-hand insight into the array of capabilities of a Royal Navy frigate. Meanwhile the ship’s rugby and football teams successfully tested their skills against local opposition.
Commander Tim Neild said: “The visit to Hamburg has been a resounding success and has been a superb opportunity to promote the economic prosperity of the UK. As we sail for home waters we will now change focus to ensure that Argyll is ready in all respects for a successful deployment in 2013.”
The visit to Hamburg brings to an end an extremely busy summer for the longest serving Type 23 frigate in the Royal Navy which included acting as flagship for Armed Forces Day event in Plymouth, hosting thousands of visitors in Zeebrugge for Belgium’s Navy Days, and conducting training for future Royal Navy and international navies navigating officers.
As the ship sails from Hamburg with their business mission complete the crew looks forward to completing a busy period at sea undertaking trials and preparing for an intensive period of training in the autumn under the guidance of Flag Officer Sea Training and his staff before any future operations.