The Plymouth-based Royal Naval frigate HMS Northumberland has sailed on an eight-month deployment East of Suez.
The Type 23 frigate left HM Naval Base Devonport (Monday 8th) to relieve sister ship HMS Sutherland which has, so far, spent the past three months keeping the sea lanes open and clamping down on illegal activity.
HMS Northumberland has departed for a period of exercise with the Response Force Task Group deployment, known as Cougar 12. Led by Plymouth-based HMS Bulwark, other Royal Navy warships, Royal Marines commandos and naval airpower, which make up the task group will train with French and Albanian maritime forces. Having worked with the task group HMS Northumberland will leave the exercise mid-way and proceed to the Middle East and Indian Ocean for her main operational patrol.
The ship’s commanding officer, Commander Paddy Dowsett, said: “My ship’s company is keen to get going on this demanding mission. It takes a tremendous amount of personal and professional commitment to regenerate a warship ready for operations and I am extremely proud of my ship’s company for the work they have done in getting us to this point. The ship’s company is rightly excited about the deployment and we are all committed to it being a success.”
HMS Northumberland has come through an extensive nine-month period of regeneration including refit, trials, numerous capability upgrades and an intensive operational sea training programme with the staff of Flag Officer Sea Training to prepare for what lies ahead.
HMS Northumberland is ready for a challenging deployment as part of the Royal Navy’s standing commitment in the Middle East, providing reassurance to the UK’s allies in the region, policing busy shipping lanes and carrying out maritime security and counter-piracy patrols.