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Type 23 Frigate HMS Sutherland has called into the British Indian Ocean Territory of Diego Garcia.

HMS Sutherland is currently on a deployment to Australia, the Far East and the Gulf region.


In a ‘period of ongoing tension in the Korean peninsula’, the Type 23 Frigate will be available to ‘work closely with our regional partners, including US, Japanese and South Korean, and participate in joint training and exercises’ say the MoD.

This follows an announcement made by the Prime Minister that HMS Argyll will deploy to Japan to take part in exercises in December 2018 following participation in a Five Power Defence Arrangements exercise with Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia earlier in the year.

Speaking during a visit to the Devonport Naval Base, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

“Our already strong defence ties with allies in the Asia Pacific area will be deepened further by this deployment. At a time when North Korea’s illegal weapons programme is causing global concern, the deployment of these two Royal Navy ships is a clear demonstration of the UK’s commitment to the peace and prosperity of the region.”

Commander Andrew Canale, the ship’s captain, said:

“This is an opportunity for HMS Sutherland to demonstrate the global reach of the Royal Navy as well as the UK’s commitment to building relationships and maintaining stability in the Asia-Pacific region. 

A deployment of this nature means that we must be prepared to respond to any eventuality. I am very proud of the Ship’s Company and the many support organisations who have assisted HMS Sutherland to deploy two months ahead of her planned departure date. 

Having just returned from Christmas leave, I am acutely aware of the sacrifices that our families are also making and I am grateful for their support as we embark on this period away from home.” 

Recently, HMS Sutherland conducted a ‘Sovereignty Patrol’ as part of her entry into Gibraltar.

Originally designed for anti-submarine warfare in the North Atlantic, the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates have proven their versatility peace-keeping and maritime security operations. 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.

18 COMMENTS

    • Leased to the US I thought. Conveniently 2,700 miles from Bahrain and 2,000 from Singapore. Echos of empire mean a P-8 could cover a big area of the Indian ocean for our global frigate force.

      • Leased to the US but UK retains full access and can use the facilities. In practice our military is too small to maintain a major presence.

      • Diego Garcia along with Greenland the you **** up and pissed someone off stations of the US military.
        Well Sutherland docking will be the only interesting event they see in their yearlong deployment.

          • And crushing solitude, no leave, almost no base housing so no family. Almost no women because there are no locals either. Then you have to remember you, I am not sure what it is anymore but the deployment used to be 14-16 months in the 1970s.
            The perfect place to send someone in who you want to encourage thoughts on civilian life. Of course that was before the internet.

          • The US forces send positive drug test cases their for rehab…There is no way for anything to come in or go out unless its through the Military bases…

  1. Both. The U.S. holds a lease for the military base with the U.K. having full access and providing the military administration on the island.

  2. I think its like Ascension Island in the Atlantic. Its a British territory but the basing facilities are leased to the USA. But we still have full access as we proved in ’82.

  3. Echos of Empire. The ability to have global influence afforded by bases like Diego Garcia, Gib, Ascension has not escaped the notice of the Chinese….

  4. Vital location in middle of Indian Ocean.

    Airbase for Strategic Bombers, port for pre positioned equipment.

    Minimal UK involvement, I think a small number of UK personnel are there, probably more from the FCO.

    Location of a GPS GS,, US Navy Ground Station for Surveillance Satellites, and no doubt NSA/ GCHQ as well.

    A British Oversees Territory but leased to US.

    One shameful episode was how the islanders were forcefully removed to make way for the US facilities.

    This, along with Gibraltar, Ascension, and the various facilities on Cyprus are vital oversees staging bases. I echo Paul P that they give the UK ability to deploy globally if needed and should be kept and indeed expanded.

  5. Good run…Small UK team providing customs and immigration cover and policing the wildlife and reefs for environmental conservation.
    The USN CPO mess opens up onto the beach with hoofing great breakers coming in…pished and body boarding great combination!

  6. I’d like to see how the Americans would react if we chose not to renew the lease on their base.

    Boy, oh boy the shit would fly then.

    • As Anglosphere nations and both members of 5 eyes why would we do that? They are great allies of the UK, and we both benefit from the facility.

      Those in opposition benches now I could see doing just that but they have a certain ideology and being close allies to the US is not part of that. I’m confident Corbyn would close down the special relationship tomorrow if he could.

      Instead of Diego Garcia why not choose somewhere closer to home. RAF Menwith Hill?
      Then you’d REALLY see shit fly. And not just from the USA.

      These sites are beneficial to us both.

    • What would be the point of withdrawing the USA from the atoll? We have the use of it. We are a force for good if we stop a free for all in the most unspoiled archipelago in the world. We have been forced to withdraw from most parts of the world by self hate at home and jealousy from other nations. Why in some places the people we left behind or those whose place it was before we arrived, regret our leaving! We should certainly have a care and regard for the people who were removed because we in UK aren’t a bullying people but we can be quite stubborn and wont be pushed around any longer by the UN, the Corbynistas or anyone else for that matter.

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