The Plymouth-based Royal Navy warship HMS Argyll is sailing on a six-month deployment to the Middle East.
The Type 23 frigate left its homeport of HM Naval Base Devonport yesterday for a maritime security patrol in the Arabian Gulf and broader Middle East.
HMS Argyll’s commanding officer, Commander Paul Stroude, said: “I am delighted to be sailing for operational tasking today and am extremely proud of the hard work, perseverance and sheer determination that the whole ship’s company and supporting agencies have put in to get us to this point. I have absolutely no doubt that the ship and her crew are ready in all respects to face whatever challenges lies ahead and importantly, we recognise the sacrifices made by our families as we leave home for what is a substantial period of time.”
After an 11-month refit in Rosyth last year and an extensive work up incorporating sea acceptance trials, operational sea training and new equipment fits, HMS Argyll returns to operations ready in all respects.
Having not seen operational service for over two years and with an extensive and at times arduous trials and training process under their belt, the crew is keen to get back to the Royal Navy’s core business as a deployed ship.
Whilst deployed, her tasking will include protecting vital international sea lanes from the threat of piracy and terrorism, as well as engagement and capacity building with the UK’s many friends and allies to promote stability across the region.
The crew will continue to training in the first few weeks of deployment ensuring the sailors maintain their edge and to meet any challenges they may face. The training will include war-fighting using the traditional weapon systems onboard, and drilling her highly trained board and search team, including a section of Royal Marines from Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines, to defeat terrorism and piracy. Add to that some extensive fire fighting and damage control exercises and you get a team that is ready for anything.