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The Portsmouth ring of steel

The Portsmouth ring of steel
14 August 2017
Two Portsmouth based T23 Frigates this week formed a ring of steel around the Exercise Saxon Warrior 17 Task Group.

HMS Westminster, a submarine hunter, and HMS Iron Duke, a surface combatant ensured that the multi national taskforce was protected from all threats above and below the water.

Westminster took charge of the task group’s impressive array of submarine hunting assets; including three frigates, eight helicopters and shore based aircraft to ensure that the enemy submarines were kept at bay.

To be the first CPO(AWW) to take on F-18s with the Royal Navy’s latest weapon system was incredible!

Chief Petty Officer (Above Water Weapons) Griffiths, HMS Westminster

Iron Duke was designated Surface Warfare Commander. Operations Officer Lieutenant Commander Chris Stevens commented:

“A challenging and highly rewarding exercise, Iron Duke has acted as the Surface Warfare Commander, protecting the USS George H W Bush from Simulated Surface threats, whilst also conducting tactical development of the Wildcat Mk 2, and Naval Gunfire Support Mission into Cape Wrath. Iron Duke is grateful for the opportunity to exercise so closely with our US and NATO partners.”

During the Exercise, F-18s from the USS George H W Bush, simulated raids against HMS Westminster, putting her cutting edge Sea Ceptor missile system to the test.

Chief Petty Officer (Above Water Weapons) Griffiths said, “To be the first CPO(AWW) to take on F-18s with the Royal Navy’s latest weapon system was incredible!

“They came at us hard and fast and Sea Ceptor dealt with the F-18s effortlessly getting shots away time after time; each pass they made was as easy as the first.”

Exercise Saxon Warrior is an important step for the UK’s return to Carrier Operations and a highlight of the exercise was a rendezvous between the Task Group and HMS Queen Elizabeth, who is currently undergoing a trials period prior to entering service.

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