HMS Westminster has completed a 15-week deployment patrolling British waters, the North Atlantic and northern European waters.
The Royal Navy say that the patrol took the vessel from the Baltic to the Channel Islands, including monitoring a passing Russian submarine.
In addition, the Type 23 Frigate joined various trials, training and exercises, including working with the RAF’s new P8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft.
HMS Westminster’s Commanding Officer, Commander Louise Ray, was quoted as saying:
“I am extremely proud of all of my sailors who have been in covid isolation onboard, away from their families since 2 January. It always astounds me how much they are prepared to give up but still keep driving forward to achieve the goals set to them by the Government. The ship’s company have now spent nine months of the previous 12 in a social bubble to reduce the risks of Covid-19 and maintain operational effectiveness.
This deployment also included a first for the Royal Navy; a refuelling at sea for a warship from a Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker for which both ships were commanded by women. The Royal Navy’s ability to replenish at sea while underway towards their objective remains a key enabler to our ability to protect the UK’s interests around the world. It was only on the eve of the event that the coincidence of both ships being led by female officers became apparent, and it seems even more fitting that this milestone coincidentally took place on International Women’s Day.”
A spell of maintenance now follows for Westminster, with a return to operations later in the year, say the Royal Navy.