Surface fleet rewarded for operational excellence

The outstanding contribution of sailors on operations around the world has been recognised by the Rear Admiral in charge of surface ships at the Royal Navy Fleet Effectiveness Awards.

Rear Admiral Mike Utley has today awarded the extraordinary efforts of thousands of serving personnel by presenting Surface Fleet Effectiveness Trophies to the ship or unit displaying the highest standards of excellence across the year.

The presentations took place at HMS Collingwood, the Royal Navy’s largest training establishment in Hampshire.

2019 was a remarkable year for the Royal Navy with ships, submarines and personnel operating in every ocean and on every continent. There were 180 foreign port visits across 80 different countries as the surface fleet worked hard across the globe on operations and exercises.

This success would not be possible without the commitment and professional excellence of every member of the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary surface fleet and these awards are designed to recognise that.

Units receiving the trophy will fly the Fleet Efficiency Pennant for a year, highlighting the success of all those involved including the supporting organisations, friends and importantly family.

HMS Forth is awarded The Offshore Patrol Vessel Effectiveness Trophy after a busy year of firsts as she officially joined the fleet. She recently arrived in the South Atlantic where she will act as the permanent guardian of the Falkland Islands and Britain’s South Atlantic Territories.

Commander Bob Laverty, Commanding Officer, HMS Forth said: “I am extremely proud of my ship’s company for winning the 2019 OPV Fleet Effectiveness Award. Taking this first of class ship from dry dock in Portsmouth to operations in the Falklands has been challenging but professionally rewarding in every respect. We have paved the way for the new Batch 2s to enter service and deploy globally around the world, bringing in a new era of forward presence for the Royal Navy.”

The breadth of achievement in the Fleet Effectiveness awards highlights the global influence the Royal Navy has accomplished this last year. This could not have been possible without the dedication of our sailors and their families. I thoroughly congratulate all winners and those working hard throughout the Fleet.

Presenting the awards, Rear Admiral Mike Utley

RFA Mounts Bay is awarded the title RFA Ship of the Year following a varied and busy year. Captain Rob Anders, Commanding Officer of RFA Mounts Bay for the 2019 disaster relief operation in the Bahamas, commends the achievements of the many organisations who worked alongside them. He said: “2019 was a very busy year for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, with our ships contributing to Operations in the Gulf, North Atlantic and Carrier Support. For RFA Mounts Bay to be awarded this recognition when the bar has been set so high, is greatly appreciated.

“RFA Mounts Bay was the critical enabler for the post hurricane Dorian disaster relief operation in the Bahamas; but without 815 Squadron Fleet Air Arm, 1700 Naval Air Squadron, the Royal Engineers, Royal Logistical Corps and US Coast Guard supporting RFA crew, we wouldn’t have achieved what we did.

I commend their outstanding efforts and appreciate the huge contribution they made to regional engagement, disaster relief and counter narcotics operations that enabled RFA Mounts Bay to earn this trophy.”

HMS Magpie, the newest addition to the navy’s hydrographic squadron, receives the Hydrography and Meteorology Trophy having spent, amongst other things, three months surveying Portsmouth harbour and its approaches making sure they were safe for the navy’s two new aircraft carriers. Lieutenant Commander Mark White, Commanding Officer HMS Magpie said:

“Last year saw HMS Magpie hit a big milestone as it achieved full operating capability in November. The ship’s company may be small, with just nine permanent personnel, but the output has been huge, delivering high quality military data in support of the RN’s strategic assets.”

Those unable to attend the award ceremony due to operational commitments will be presented their awards during the early part of this year.

The winners in full:

  • Naval Capability – Winner: HMS Defender, Runner-up: MIXG HQ Engineering and Support
  • Capital Ship – Winner: HMS Albion, Runner-up: HMS Queen Elizabeth
  • Destroyer – Winner: HMS Dragon, Runner-up: HMS Defender
  • Frigate – Winner: HMS Kent, Runner-up: HMS Montrose
  • RFA Ship of the Year (for Afloat Sustainment) – Winner: RFA Mounts Bay, Runner-up: RFA Lyme Bay
  • Offshore Patrol Vessel – Winner: HMS Forth, Runner-up: HMS Medway
  • Mine Countermeasure – Winner: M1C3, Runner-up: M1C8
  • Hydrography and Meteorology – Winner: HMS Magpie, Runner-up: HMS Echo
  • Inshore Patrol Vessel – Winner: HMS Exploit, Runner-up: Faslane PBS
  • Engineering – Winner: HMS Northumberland Marine Engineering and Weapon Engineering departments, Runner-up: HMS Dragon Marine Engineering department
  • Rule of the Road – Winner: 1PBS, Runner-up: HMS Talent
  • Above Water Warfare – Winner: HMS Sutherland, Runner-up: HMS Defender
  • Underwater Warfare – Winner: HMS Northumberland, Runner-up: HMS Westminster
  • Communication Trophy – Winner: HMS Kent, Runner-up: M2C6
  • Electronic Warfare Trophy – Winner: HMS Montrose, Runner-up: HMS Sutherland
  • Fleet Diving Unit Trophy – Winner: M2C6 CDE, Runner-up: SDU2
  • Fleet Intelligence Trophy – Winner: COMUKMCMFOR N2 Cell, Runner-up: FPS N2 Cell
  • Maritime Signal Intelligence Trophy – Winner: HMS Dragon, Runner-up: HMS Montrose
  • Seamanship Efficiency Trophy – Winner: HMS Forth, Runner-up: HMS Duncan