The Type 23 Frigate is ready to begin operations as part of Combined Maritime Forces, an international partnership charged with improving maritime security and ensuring freedom of navigation in one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

The Combined Maritime Forces is an international naval partnership that provides security for civilian maritime traffic by conducting counter-piracy and counter-terrorism missions in the heavily trafficked waters of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, including the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea and the wider Indian Ocean.

Captain of HMS Portland Paul Stroude said:

“We have spent the last six months preparing for this vital and complex mission. Around 40 per cent of the world’s trade passes through the Middle East by sea, and my ship’s company is ready to operate with our allies throughout the region to promote stability, counter terrorism and ensure legitimate maritime activity may proceed unhindered.

We are trained and ready for anything from high-end warfighting, to maritime security operations, to providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief if required. I am immensely proud to lead my highly capable team in support of Combined Maritime Forces.”

HMS Portland sailed from Plymouth in June to begin her deployment and travelled nearly 7,000 miles to reach Bahrain. On the way, she stopped in Cagliari in Sardinia, Souda Bay in Crete, and Safaga in Egypt.

According to the Royal Navy, the ship’s company conducted maritime security patrols, essential training and final checks on all systems to prepare them for their nine month deployment in the Gulf.

The Type 23 frigate form the core of the Royal Navy’s fleet and serve alongside the Type 45 destroyers. Originally designed for anti-submarine warfare in the North Atlantic, the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates have proven their versatility in warfighting, peace-keeping and maritime security operations around the globe.

Thirteen Type 23 frigates remain in service with the Royal Navy, with three vessels having been sold to Chile and handed over to the Chilean Navy.

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