A Plymouth based warship has been put through her paces exercising with submarines off the coasts of Scotland and Norway.
HMS Portland began her workout by providing the opposition for the final stage of Submarine Command Course or ‘Perisher’ as it is more widely known.
The course gets its nickname from the number of prospective Commanding Officers who have had their submarine careers ended by this gruelling assessment.
On completion of her Perisher commitments, the frigate then travelled across to Norway for Exercise Dynamic Mongoose 15.
This was a 10 day NATO anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercise which saw Portland working alongside ships, submarines and aircraft from Spain, Turkey, the Netherlands, France, Canada, USA, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Poland and Norway.
The task group was commanded by Rear Admiral Brad Williamson US Navy, Commander Standing NATO Maritime Group 2.
The exercise was designed to develop advanced ASW tactics for individual units and co-ordinated operations.
In total, 13 surface ships, three submarines, two maritime patrol aircraft and various helicopters were involved in the exercise.
HMS Portland has three submariners currently serving onboard with a combined submarine experience of over 70 years.
Captain Simon Asquith OBE, who previously commanded HMS Talent, has 20 years experience.
Warrant Officer 1 Steve Thorpe has been the Coxswain on HMS Vanguard and HMS Ambush and has 30 years experience; whilst Chief Petty Officer Ed Froude who has previously served on Trafalgar Class submarines, has 20 years experience.
Their combined experience made Portland a formidable opponent both on the Perisher course and Dynamic Mongoose.
WO1 Steve Thorpe said: “It’s a great privilege to serve onboard HMS Portland and be able to see the action from above the waves.
“Our submarine experience allows us to offer advice and answer questions from the ship’s company about submarines and how they conduct their business.”
HMS Portland’s Commanding Officer, Captain Simon Asquith, stressed the importance of UK and NATO partners working together as one.
“It is vital that the UK and NATO continue to develop their ASW skills and exercise co-ordination between Allies so that if called upon we will be ready to fight and win,” he said.
“There is a recognition that, with such an unstable world and the proliferation of capable submarines worldwide, there has never been a more important time to focus on this important warfare discipline.”