On a wind and rain-lashed Devil’s Point, families wave farewell to the good ship Montrose, setting sail on a 6½-month deployment.
The weather is a foretaste of what the Devonport-based frigate is likely to encounter as she takes up her duties as Atlantic Patrol Ship (South).
As well as a hearty turn out from loved ones in Plymouth, the 180 sailors aboard were treated to the skirl of bagpipes with a lone piper at Devil’s Point providing a fitting nod to the Type 23 frigate’s proud links with Scotland.
Once clear of Plymouth Sound, HMS Montrose set a southerly course to cover 8,000-plus nautical miles so she’ll arrive on station in the South Atlantic mid-November.
With a number of port visits en route, there will be the chance to replenish the ship and crew and train and interact with foreign navies and authorities, further cementing the UK’s partnerships with her allies.
It will certainly be very different and rather cooler than the ship’s last tour of duty – the ship returned from a successful counter-piracy deployment east of Suez ten months ago; she proved to be a pirate-buster par excellence.
Since returning to the West Country she’s undergone extensive maintenance and an intensive period of Operational Sea Training to prepare her for the six-plus months away from home.
“Exactly a year ago, Montrose was patrolling the key shipping routes in the Somali Basin and Horn of Africa, and in fact one of our most significant counter-piracy successes took place on this day last year,”said her Commanding Officer Cdr Jonathan Lett. “Fast forward 12 months, and we are now ready do whatever is asked of us in the South Atlantic, providing a reassuring presence in the region and working hard to protect British interests. “This deployment has been eagerly anticipated for some time, and every member of my team is well prepared and very well trained for the potential challenges ahead.”
* Notícia publicada al lloc web oficial de la Royal Navy. Desitgem sort en el seu viatge a l'HMS Montrose.