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The West Country and the Royal Navy go back a long way. The ships that defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588 sailed from the mouth of the River Plym, The memory of Sir Francis Drake, Mayor of Plymouth as well as Great National hero is kept alive in the name, HMS DRAKE, which was recently extended to the whole of Devonport Naval Base.  Devonport is the largest Naval Base in Western Europe . It covers over 650 acres and has 15 dry docks, four miles of waterfront, 25 tidal berths and 5 basins. The 2,500 civilian and Service Personnel are committed to the Naval Base Mission 'Supporting the Fleet Worldwide'.
 

Since 1691 Devonport has been providing support to the Royal Navy. This still continues today, and working in partnership with Babcock marine the Naval Base fulfils all the personnel, engineering, logistics and infrastructure support needs of the ships and submarines of the Devonport Flotilla.

Devonport is the base port of the largest ship in the Royal Navy, HMS Ocean that is 21,000 tones and also the smallest vessel in service HMS Gleaner a 25 tonne surveying motor launch. There are fourteen Type 22 and Type 23 frigates, seven Trafalgar class submarines and four of the five hydrographic ships forming the Royal Naval Surveying squadron under the command of Captain (H) who is also the Hydrographer of the Navy.

Alongside its surface ship refitting facilities, Devonport is the only site in the UK equipped to conduct nuclear submarine refits, including those for the Vanguard class.

There are over 5,000 ship movements annually and is it estimated that the base generates about 10% of the income for Plymouth and creates business opportunities for 400 local firms