HMS Westminster returned to Portsmouth today after five months on what the Royal Navy call a “critical patrol safeguarding UK waters and keeping a close eye on submarines on operations”.
According to a Royal Navy news release, the Type 23 frigate has patrolled vast areas of the Atlantic using her “state-of-the-art weapons and sensors to track submarine movements but also escort ships through waters closer to UK shores”.
“Sailors of HMS Westminster spent the festive period away from their loved ones on patrol after being at sea almost constantly since deploying last summer to guard the UK’s ‘back yard’ and work with allies to monitor any potential threats lurking beneath the waves. Westminster has been at the tip of the nation’s submarine hunting spear as the Royal Navy’s TAPS – the Towed-Array Patrol Ship – that is part of a comprehensive protective ring around waters key to UK interests, determined to keep the prying eyes of hostile submarines at bay.”
Commanding Officer, Commander Louise Ray, was quoted as saying:
“It is occasions like these that remind all of my team that we would struggle to do what we do without the support of our families and friends. Waving to all of those who were on the hot walls and Round Tower today is really important and I thank them, and all of our friends and family who could not make the journey, for the support they show us each and every day when we are deployed.”
Westminster spent 121 days of their 151-day deployment at sea, sailing 24,000 nautical miles and stopping in Hamburg in Germany, Trondheim in Norway and Reykjavik in Iceland along the way, you can read more about this from the Royal Navy itself here.