News Article

HMS St Albans departs for Gulf

A Military Operations news article

4 Feb 10

Crowds of families and friends waved off the crew of Portsmouth-based warship HMS St Albans this week as she set sail for the Gulf where she will be deployed for the next six months.

Departure of HMS St Albans

Families and friends see off the crew of HMS St Albans
[Picture: LA(Phot) Keith Morgan, Crown Copyright/MOD 2010]

The 4,900-tonne Type 23 frigate has been deployed to support international efforts in tackling piracy, illegal trafficking and smuggling along busy shipping lanes.

The crew has been put through a demanding sea training package of counter-piracy, counter-terrorism and boarding operations exercises to make sure they are prepared for the deployment.

HMS St Albans, known as 'The Saint', is also due to sail to the Middle East and into Iraqi waters to help the government protect their oil platforms and provide security to ensure regional stability.

The ship, which left at 1000hrs on Monday 1 February 2010, has a mix of old hands who have been deployed to Iraq on several occasions and also young sailors and Royal Marines who will be facing these challenges for the first time.

The Commanding Officer of HMS St Albans, Commander Adrian Pierce, said:

"The seas east of the Suez Canal are being increasingly used for unlawful purposes, including piracy, illegal trafficking and smuggling in support of terrorist organisations.

HMS St Albans leaving Portsmouth Harbour

HMS St Albans leaving Portsmouth Harbour
[Picture: LA(Phot) Dean Nixon, Crown Copyright/MOD 2010]

"HMS St Albans will be deployed to these areas to support the wider international community intent on defeating these international threats.

"Later in the deployment, and at the invitation of the Iraqi Government, HMS St Albans will continue to support Iraqi national interests, therefore ensuring Iraq's continued economic growth.

"Royal Naval operations in the Middle East are focused on reassuring regional partners of the coalition's commitment to assist in building security and stability."

The mainstay of the modern surface fleet, Type 23 frigates are powerful and versatile, with the capability to operate effectively anywhere in the world.

Originally designed for the principal task of anti-submarine warfare, they have evolved into multi-purpose ships whose effectiveness is enhanced by their stealth design, which significantly reduces their radar signature.

In addition to core warfare roles, these ships also conduct embargo operations using boarding teams operating from their boats or helicopters, disaster relief work and surveillance operations.

Jack Speak
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