HMS Richmond back home after seven months on historic global deployment

Topic: Fighting armsSurface Fleet Storyline: HMS Richmond

Hundreds of families and loved ones gathered to welcome HMS Richmond home to Plymouth after more than seven months away on a historic deployment.

The Type 23 frigate spearheaded the UK Carrier Strike Group deployment, often leading the way as the task group – centred on aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and her F-35B stealth jets – sailed to the Indo-Pacific and back. 

Richmond was the only Plymouth-based warship to deploy with the strike group and sailed just under 50,000 nautical miles on operations protecting HMS Queen Elizabeth from threats beneath the waves in her role as an anti-submarine warfare frigate.

Not only that but Richmond also conducted a wide range of tasks, including defending from aerial threats as F35 jets carried out combat missions against Daesh while in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The frigate also upheld UN sanctions against North Korea in the East China Sea and carried out a solo transit of the Taiwan Strait, as the UK Carrier Strike Group sailed as far east as Japan and Guam and back through the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Suez Canal, the Indian Ocean and to the Pacific.
Commanding Officer, Commander Hugh Botterill, said: “HMS Richmond returns home having delivered on operations right across the globe. 

“We’ve fulfilled our role protecting HMS Queen Elizabeth in all warfare domains but also operated alone, such as our UN sanctions enforcement in the East China Sea, and our solo transit of the Taiwan Strait. 

“All this has been achieved against the backdrop of an ongoing pandemic; my crew have had very little time away from the ship, and have often been confined onboard due to in-country restrictions. 

“In typical Royal Navy style, they have faced this with resilience and good humour. They have been nothing short of exceptional, and have delivered time and time again.

“I’m so proud to lead this ship back into Devonport, and I know our family and friends awaiting us on the dockside will be rightly proud of what their loved ones have achieved. 

“We can now proceed on well-deserved Christmas leave after 7.5 months away from home, and come back ready for the next HMS Richmond adventure.” 

Richmond visited Montenegro, Israel, Guam, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Crete, Malta and Gibraltar during her deployment, strengthening ties with allies and partners across the globe.

At sea, the ship carried out a range of intensive exercises and contributed to war games with a range of partner nations and in some cases, such as Vietnam, completed a first for joint relations.