The visit by HMS Montrose is the first time this century that a British warship has visited the island.
According to the Royal Navy, the frigate arrived at the island – 2,500 miles off the west coast of South America – on Boxing Day as she continues her voyage ‘the wrong way around the world’ from Plymouth to Bahrain.
“After a high-profile visit to Chile, which saw sailors join Princess Anne in 200th birthday celebrations of the South American nation’s navy, Montrose headed out into the Pacific bound for New Zealand via Easter Island.”
The Type 23 Frigate is on her way to be forward-deployed in the Middle East. According to the Royal Navy, the vessel will be based in the region for more than three years, although her ship’s company will rotate to the vessel and home again beginning in Spring 2019.
“This forward-deployment serves two purposes – to demonstrate the UK’s commitment to maritime security in the Gulf while also ensuring those on board can enjoy more stability in their home lives.”
In a release, the Royal Navy say that Montrose will deploy for ‘defence engagement activity’ and maritime security operations prior to arriving at the newly-opened UK Naval Support Facility in Bahrain.