A busy year for HMS Enterprise
The last 12 months have been varied and busy for the officers and crew of HMS Enterprise, the Royal Devonshire Yeomanry’s affiliated ship. Having transiting the Suez Canal in late May, it was a fast passage across the Mediterranean with a whistle stop visit in Gibraltar before finally returning home after a long period in the Middle-East.
There is no rest for the wicked however and August kicked off the Shakedown phase of getting the mighty ‘E’ up to the standard required to re-deploy in November.
The training began in earnest with the visit by the Devonport Flotilla Operational Assurance Visit team. Over the two day period that the team were embarked the ship was put through several training serials including man overboard exercises, fire exercises and live weapon testing.
The ship then spent the next six weeks being put through its paces – being attacked, burnt, flooded and gassed on a regular basis (all ‘for exercise’ of course!) to prove her ability to set to sea safely as part of the Operational Sea Training package.
This was followed by a short maintenance period in October when substantial work was carried out throughout the Ship in order to repair defects, maintain existing systems and upgrade to new systems. It also involved adding that extra lick of paint so that the Ship will be able to face the challenges of the less benign weather during her next deployment to the South Atlantic.
To round off a busy period back in UK waters HMS Enterprise strengthened ties by hosting her Affiliates on board for a day. Ninety six affiliate members joined the ship for the day; these included the Ship’s Sponsor Lady Forbes, the Worshipful Company of Cutlers, the Royal Devonshire Yeomanry, Tiverton Sea Cadets and school children from both Heathcoat and Two Moors Schools.
Members of a local Royal British Legion also joined the Affiliate Day’s activities that included Firefighting, Seaboat and Weapon/Force Protection displays as well as sea bed sampling in the Baltic Room.
Enterprise then sailed in November for the South Atlantic where the weather presented a significant challenge to our normal activities.
Within 4 hours the wind and sea can go from calm and pleasant to near-gale conditions, lumpy seas and stormy skies. Eventually the wind turned to southerly and all of a sudden the small part of South Atlantic we were in looked very much like the Southern Oceans; we gained a different perspective on how far south we really were. The 4-metre waves soon proved too much even for us and we sought shelter in harbour.
The ship turned her bows northwards again in February and is now back in the UK after a long trip home (and an all-too-short stop over in Barbados!). She will be taking part in a multi-national joint force exercise based in Faslane, Scotland, before completing another maintenance and sea training package and then deploying to the Middle East once again in the summer.
With such a variety of operations and locations the last year has been an amazing experience for the ship. We have steamed close to 30,000 nautical miles and the galley has produced over 63,000 meals including 7.3 metric tonnes of potatoes!
We have proven our capability in all latitudes, but we’ve not forgotten our friends and made sure we had our favourite Royal Yeomanry over for a visit. We are proud of affiliation with the Yeomen and are looking forward to the next opportunity to host.
TAKE A LOOK
The Ship’s Company enjoy a rare opportunity to gather together and pose for the camera in tropical uniform – don’t they look lovely?
SURVEY SHIP HOME AFTER TWO-YEAR OPERATION The Royal Naval survey ship HMS Enterprise is due to return to her home port of Plymouth this week after an epic 20-month deployment. The oceanographic and hydrographic survey ship returns to HM Naval Base Devonport on Friday (June 10) having sailed over 50,000 miles during her deployment, with her most recent operations over the last few months having surveyed an area the size of Dartmoor National Park. Her deployment has also included West Africa, Arabian Gulf, Gibraltar, Oman and southern Red Sea. *** Local Caption *** Commander Jon Holmes, the shipâs commanding officer
Mid Hutcheson dresses to impress in PBI Gold
Passing Drake Island
Resting in the calm waters of the Red sea
Sister Ships HMS Enterprise and HMS Echo side by side for a rare photo opportunity
Alongside Plymouth for the first time in 20 months
HMS Enterprise at anchor in Fowey
HMS Enterprise sits in Fowey Harbour