Wave Knight passes the North Atlantic Patrol baton to Mounts Bay

The busy Martinique port of Fort-de-France was transformed into a temporary Royal Naval base last week, as RFA Wave Knight handed over North Atlantic patrol duties to RFA Mounts Bay, after a 13 month deployment which has seen the ship sail over 56,000 nautical miles and visit 24 different ports.

During her time in the region, alongside her cores responsibilities of providing disaster response and counter narcotics operations, Wave Knight memorably hosted HRH Prince Harry for a successful Royal Tour of the Caribbean in November 2016 and also spent time earlier this year deployed South to the Falkland Islands to provide reassurance to the British Overseas Territory.

The handover itself saw the ship’s vast humanitarian and disaster response supplies, plus a brand-new Wildcat helicopter, be transferred to Mounts Bay, in anticipation of the challenges the remainder of the hurricane season may bring. By contrast, Wave Knight will return to the UK for upkeep and maintenance before undertaking her next tasking.

This deployment has highlighted the great versatility of Wave Knight and her ship’s company including RFA, RN and Royal Engineer Commandos

Captain Simon Herbert RFA, Commanding Officer of RFA Wave Knight

Prior to leaving Fort-de-France, and once the handover was complete, some members of the ship’s company were able to enjoy a tour of the nearby historical site of Fort St Louis complete with its free-roaming iguanas.

Reflecting on the deployment for the ship, Wave Knight’s Commanding Officer Simon Herbert said, “This has been a highly successful APT(N) deployment by Wave Knight, which has seen a number of defence activities delivered, including defence engagement, maritime security operations, and local capacity building”.

He further added, “This deployment has highlighted the great versatility of Wave Knight and her ship’s company including RFA, RN and Royal Engineer Commandos who have been instrumental in the ship’s successful support to defence engagements across both the APT(N) and APT(S) areas of operation.

“We now hand over to Mounts Bay and wish them every success in their future Atlantic Patrol Task North duties”.