Royal Navy warship HMS Westminster sailed from Portsmouth today, 23 January 2012, for a seven-month deployment to the Middle East and Indian Ocean.
|HMS Westminster leaves Portsmouth for a seven-month deployment to the Middle East and Indian Ocean [Picture: LA(Phot) Gary Weatherston, Crown Copyright/MOD 2012]
Source: Ministry of Defence, UK
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The Type 23 frigate will be acting 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.
Her Commanding Officer, Captain Nick Hine, said:
“It takes a tremendous amount of effort to get a complex and sophisticated 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; but operations are what the Royal Navy is all about and we are itching to get going.
“We sail into a region of heightened tensions and great challenges and we are ready and up for it.”
Last year HMS Westminster was deployed at short notice to the Mediterranean to assist in evacuating UK nationals from Libya and to conduct operations in support of United Nations Security Council resolutions against the Gaddafi regime.
Many of the ship’s company who are deploying to the Middle East are still on board from the mission off Libya, including Operations Officer Lieutenant Commander Andy Brown:
“We learnt a lot last year on our successful involvement in the Libyan operations and we will carry that experience forward to our next mission,” he said.
“The ship’s company are excited about the deployment ahead and we are all determined to make it a success.”
Ministry of Defence, UK