HMS Northumberland Gets Ready For Christmas Patrols

The ship was part of the UK Carrier Strike Group that helped prepare HMS Queen Elizabeth for her first operational deployment next year.

HMS Northumberland’s crew are preparing for a Christmas away from home as they continue their mission to protect UK waters and the nation’s nuclear deterrent.

The sailors will be following COVID-19 restrictions while on deployment, with nobody on board the ship allowed to go any further than the jetty when coming alongside between operations.

The Type 23 frigate was last at her home base of Devonport in late September and has since sailed more than 10,000 miles.

She has formed part of the UK Carrier Strike Group during landmark operations in the North Sea and monitored Russian activity close to British waters.

Commander Thom Hobbs, Commanding Officer of HMS Northumberland, said: "This deployment has been incredibly challenging for my ship’s company given the stringent but necessary restrictions we follow due to the coronavirus. 

"Even in the face of these extraordinary challenges, my ship’s company has responded, remaining professional, adaptable, and delivering in abundance.

"I am incredibly proud of what every sailor has achieved in these testing times."

HMS Northumberland formed part of a UK Carrier Strike Group in October (Picture: Royal Navy).

During operations with HMS Queen Elizabeth and the UK Carrier Strike Group, the ship was also deployed as an expert submarine hunter.

Using her specialist equipment, HMS Northumberland kept tabs on activity below the waves as the largest and most powerful European-led maritime force in nearly 20 years gathered in the North Sea.

Nine ships, five fighter jets, 11 helicopters and 3,000 personnel from the UK, US and the Netherlands were involved as HMS Queen Elizabeth prepared for her first operational deployment next year.

HMS Northumberland then turned her attention to security in UK waters and was involved in an operation to monitor Russian ship Viktor Leonov with HMS Tyne.

The ship then watched the movements of Russian ship Vice-Admiral Kulakov as she sailed north-west of the Outer Hebrides, off the west coast of Scotland.

"All those embarked and deployed in HMS Northumberland would like to wish friends, families and loved ones a safe and festive Christmas and we all very much look forward to seeing you all again in the New Year," Cdr Hobbs said.

Cover image: Sailors on board HMS Northumberland (Picture: MOD).