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Busy start to year for HMS Sutherland

HMS Sutherland has been at sea conducting exercises and drills. Picture: LPhot Mark Johnson
21 February 2020
It has been a busy start to the year for HMS Sutherland, as the Type 23 frigate started 2020 where she left off in 2019.

Sutherland is the UK's high-readiness warship and has been at sea on escorting duties and operational training.

Sailors on board the Plymouth-based ship have been kept on their toes, taking part in a number of exercises and drills to ensure they are ready for anything.

After a brief port stop following five days of escorting a Russian task group through the English Channel, the 'Fighting Clan' headed back out for some gunnery training.

A day on the gun-line was the perfect opportunity to practise naval gunfire support while under the watchful eye of FOST (Flag Officer Surface Training) who was on board to qualify the ship's Captain of the Turret aka 'Gunbuster'.

It was then time to run through a man overboard exercise, seaboat drills, a crash on deck exercise, numerous firefighting training and procedural flying.

Added into the mix of all this was upperdeck preparations for the impending storms Ciara and Dennis.

But sailors have also been embracing opportunities to relax and enjoy their time at sea. The Wardroom hosted the PO's Mess for a games afternoon and Clubz (Sutherland's PTI) ran an inter-mess quiz, dead-life competition and a rowing competition to raise money for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

Keen to support Royal Naval Reservists, HMS Sutherland welcomed Sub Lieutenant Smith from HMS Flying Fox on board. She worked within each department and got involved in a wide range of activities, managing to finish her task book.

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