HMS Portland, a Type 23 frigate, received a warm welcome upon returning to its home port in Devonport, after months of operations in the North Atlantic and surrounding UK waters.
Embarking from Devonport in early August, HMS Portland’s mission included the shadowing of Russian naval vessels and visits to ports from Belfast to Nova Scotia.
According to the Royal Navy press release, “HMS Portland has had a busy schedule since leaving Plymouth.” This included a brief collaboration with HMS Queen Elizabeth and the UK Carrier Strike Group for NATO training and exercises.
A pivotal aspect of HMS Portland’s deployment was tracking Russian warships and submarines. This task was undertaken in coordination with the offshore patrol vessel HMS Tyne and the RAF’s P8 Poseidon aircraft. The frigate monitored several Russian vessels, such as corvettes Boikiy and Grad, cruiser Marshal Ustinov, and the Udaloy-class destroyer Severomorsk.
During a visit to Belfast, Northern Ireland, HMS Portland then embarked on a transatlantic journey to Canada to participate in the Royal Canadian Navy’s inaugural International Fleet Week in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The frigate opened its gangway to the public, including participants from Techsploration, which encourages young women to pursue careers in science, engineering, trade, and technology.
HMS Portland also took part in exchanges with sailors from various international navies in Halifax, culminating in a salute to the Commander of the Canadian Navy, Vice Admiral Angus Topshee.
Upon its return to the North Atlantic, HMS Portland rejoined the UK Carrier Strike Group, escorting HMS Queen Elizabeth alongside the Type 45 destroyer HMS Diamond. The frigate played a critical role in the launch of a Training Variant Torpedo from Merlin Mk2 helicopters aboard the aircraft carrier.
With its return to Devonport, HMS Portland concludes a series of strategic operations, underscoring its vital role in maintaining security in the North Atlantic and surrounding UK waters.
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