Royal Navy frigate HMS Monmouth made a triumphant return to Devonport this morning after a nine-month deployment covering 40,000 miles.

850 family members and friends awaited the ship as it came alongside on Friday morning.

Since leaving the UK in March, the ship has travelled through the North Atlantic, Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and throughout the Middle East.   

The type 23 frigate patrolled the usual key chokeholds (the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait and the Strait of Hormuz) whilst also maintaining the UK's presence in the near and middle east.

HMS Monmouth Homecoming Able Seaman Lewis Ingram
Able Seaman Lewis Ingram and girlfriend, Juliane Senland

Able Seaman Lewis Ingram (pictured) said: "It's been hard, it's been long... It's been good, it's been enjoyable. It's ups and downs obviously."

"Nine months is a very long time it turns out! So it's really, really good to be back and be home with the girlfriend again." 

HMS Monmouth, moments before coming alongside in Devonport.
HMS Monmouth, moments before coming alongside in Devonport.

Leading Hand Michael Head said: "It's the first 9-month long trip I've done. It felt very longwinded even after the mid-deployment bit."

"To be home, just speechless... Can't imagine being anywhere else right now."

HMS Monmouth Commander, Ian Feasey speaking to Forces News.

Travelling 40,000 miles, the ship and its crew took £65 million worth of drugs off the streets.

Commander Ian Feasey said: "In May... we had intelligence to suggest that we had a smuggler in the vicinity. 

"We tracked it down in the middle of the Indian Ocean. A fishing dhow carrying what was found to be three-quarters of a tonne of illegal cargo."

A Royal Navy boarding team from HMS Monmouth climbing on board the fishing dhow
A Royal Navy boarding team from HMS Monmouth climbing on board the fishing dhow (credit: Royal Navy).

Last week, the defence secretary announced HMS Monmouth will be moving to Portsmouth in a reshuffle of the base porting of the Type 23 fleet from 2023.

Until then she will remain in Devonport and will return to duty in next spring after maintenance.

The Ship's Company of HMS Monmouth with the drugs haul (credit: Royal Navy).
The Ship's Company of HMS Monmouth with the drugs haul (credit: Royal Navy).

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