Devonport-based Royal Navy frigate HMS Montrose sailed today with special guests – 280 families and friends of the crew – to give them the rare chance to experience life at sea for a day.
Despite the inclement weather, this was an ideal opportunity for HMS Montrose’s crew to show their loved-ones around their ship which will be their home whenever they deploy round the world.
The sailors were also able to show their guests some of the activities (both routine and non-planned) they engage on at sea through the world. The visit also allowed the crew to say thankyou to families for their continuing support back home to those who sometimes have to spend months away at sea.
The crew’s families embarked early today in strong winds and rough sea to witness the ship piloting her way through Plymouth Sound during which HMS Montrose exchanged a ceremonial gun salute with her affiliated Army regiment 29 Commando Royal Artillery based in the Royal Citadel in Plymouth.
Once at sea, they saw the ship put through its paces conducting high-speed manoeuvres as she interacted with other Royal Navy vessels on exercise, including a high speed fly-past of Hawk and Falcon aircraft.
Inside the ship, families had the opportunity to talk to teams from various family services organisations who will be there to support them at home throughout any deployments abroad. There was also a face-painter and entertainer on hand to entertain some of the younger guests.
The ship’s commanding officer Commander Jonathan Lett said: “This is a great opportunity for our families to see where we live and work and it also provides me with an opportunity to thank our families for their support to my ship’s company.”
Commissioned by Lady Edith Rifkind in 1992, HMS Montrose is a Type 23 Duke class frigate with a length of 133 metres and displacing over 4000 tonnes. She has a complement of 174 officers and ratings and is equipped with the latest weapons, sensors and communications systems, including the vertical launch Seawolf missile system for close air defence, a 4.5 inch gun, anti submarine torpedoes, Harpoon anti-ship missiles and a Lynx helicopter.