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HMS Richmond completes first phase of Carrier Strike Group deployment

HMS Richmond has completed Phase 1 of her Carrier Strike Group deployment
Frigate HMS Richmond is ready to begin the second phase of her operations as part of the UK’s Carrier Strike Group deployment.

The Devonport-based ship left the UK in May to deploy with HMS Queen Elizabeth and her task group on a global mission that will take them 26,000 nautical miles to more than 40 countries.

And after a busy few weeks at sea working with allies and partners, Richmond has passed through the Suez Canal and is preparing to continue east.

Along with sister ship HMS Kent, Richmond’s role is to protect the Carrier Strike Group from potential threats below the waves.

This put her at the front of the group when they left the UK and headed across the Bay of Biscay. The ship and her embarked Wildcat helicopter from 815 Naval Air Squadron ensured waters were safe for the carrier as they sailed towards the Mediterranean.

Their journey took them around the toe of Italy, passing through the Strait of Messina, and on towards their first port visit to Bar, in Montenegro in early June.

There she hosted numerous senior dignitaries and local officials, including Baroness Annabel Goldie, the UK’s Minister of State for Defence, President of Montinegro Milo Djukanovic, British Ambassador to Montenegro Karen Maddocks, Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic and Defence Minister Olivera Injac.

As well as hosting numerous diplomatic discussions and engagements, HMS Richmond’s flight deck was also the setting for the official signing of Memorandums of Understanding between the UK and Montenegro governments.

We are looking forward to all the challenges ahead and our journey so far is already living up to all our expectations.”

Commander Hugh Botterill, HMS Richmond’s Commanding Officer

The ship also put on a boarding demonstration, hosted an engineering education event with local school children and a Women in Peace and Security Network event.

The final event in Bar marked Her Majesty The Queen’s birthday. Richmond provided a reception and capability demonstration, followed by a ceremonial sunset with all senior officials attending.

Commander Hugh Botterill, HMS Richmond’s Commanding Officer, said: “It was a very proud moment for HMS Richmond as we sailed from Devonport for the Carrier Strike Group 2021 deployment.

“It’s has been a challenging and busy period for everyone connected with the ship, generating for operations is a busy time for any fighting unit, but when back-dropped against COVID 19, it has been especially demanding on the ship’s company and their friends and families back home.

“We are looking forward to all the challenges ahead and our journey so far is already living up to all our expectations.”

Commodore Steve Moorhouse, Commander United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group, added: “The UK is a quintessential maritime trading nation, with a network of commercial, military and diplomatic interests across the globe.

“The deployment of HMS Richmond and the UK Carrier Strike Group to the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and East Asia, and our programme of exercise and engagements with partners new and old, demonstrates the United Kingdom’s commitment to strengthening the cooperation upon which global security and prosperity depend.”

 

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