The Royal Naval warship HMS Monmouth has visited Gothenburg in Sweden for a routine visit en-route to multi-national exercises off Norway.
The visit reinforced close co-operation between the UK and Sweden in tackling the security challenges facing Europe. The visit allowed the crew a break from intensive operational sea training and maritime security work.
The ship’s captain Commander Phil Tilden said: “It’s a great privilege to be able to visit Sweden and enjoy the well-known Swedish hospitality. I am also delighted to be able to bring Monmouth here to both emphasise the UK’s commitment to its security partnership with Sweden in today’s uncertain world and to connect with the community in Gothenburg.”
The ship is engaged in training, maritime security and defence engagement tasking around the United Kingdom and Northern Europe.
Sub Lieutenant John Dawes, an officer of the watch under training, helped organise the visit. He said: “I really enjoyed the visit. We’ve worked hard over the last few weeks doing the navigation, underwater warfare and damage control exercises, so it was great to be in Gothenburg and explore on our days off.”
Members of the crew also toured the Volvo factory and drove a selection of 23 cars on the company test track and played football against a Swedish Armed Forces team.
Commander Tilden and three of his crew took part in the annual Navy Squash tournament between the Anglo-American Embassies and the Swedish Navy in Stockholm. The tournament was attended by Rear Admiral Jan Thörnqvist Chief of Staff Royal Swedish Navy and Commander Maritime Component Command.
The tournament was started by a visiting Royal Navy ship in 1951 and has been played most years since.
The ship’s contingent aided an Anglo-American win after seven years of the trophy being in Swedish hands.
Plymouth-based HMS Monmouth, recently completed an 18-month long refit and upgrade in Devonport Naval Base, enabling her to operate at the cutting edge of naval warfare for at least the next decade.
The Type 23 frigates will eventually be replaced by the new Type 26 Frigate, the first of which is expected in service around 2020.
HMS Monmouth is known informally as the ‘Black Duke’ after James Scott, the Duke of Monmouth, who was beheaded at Tower Hill in 1685. In reference to this heritage the ship is unique in the Royal Navy as the only ship to fly a black flag and have a black as opposed to red name plate.
HMS Monmouth has more battle honours than any other serving warship. The current and 7th HMS Monmouth returned from a seven-month deployment to the Arabian Gulf deterring piracy and other illegal activities in 2013. She has since been in refit receiving a number of combat system and marine equipment upgrades and has spent the summer months this year at sea conducting rigorous trials of her new capabilities.