Navy

HMS Westminster Arrives Back In Portsmouth After Five-Month Deployment

HMS Westminster has returned home after a short visit to London where her crew exercised their Freedom of the City of Westminster.

HMS Westminster has arrived at her home base of Portsmouth following the end of a NATO deployment.

The ship was welcomed home to the chorus of a military band and the cheers of the crew's friends and families. 

The Type 23 frigate's return to British waters marks the end of a busy period for the ship. 

Speaking to Forces News after being reunited with his loved ones, Lieutenant Tim Clouter said: "[It's] been a long time coming but brilliant.

"It's incredible to be back home."

HMS Westminster spent five months at sea as part of NATO Standing Maritime Group One, taking part in an intensive programme of exercises, including Trident Juncture, Baltic Protector and Dynamic Mongoose.

HMS Westminster in front of the O2 arena before docking at West India Docks in London 050819 CREDIT MOD
The vessel spent a short time in London before returning to Portsmouth (Picture: MOD).

Reflecting on the deployment, Commander Will Paston, Commanding Officer, said: "It gave us an opportunity to really hone our anti-submarine warfare skills, which is the real core of what Westminster is all about.

"I think they [the crew] really enjoyed it, we taught something, they taught us something, so we all gained something out of it and actually come out of the whole thing as a far more cohesive force, ready to do what's required if it's required."

On HMS Westminster's journey back to UK waters, she shadowed a Chinese warship through the English Channel before docking in London. 

The ship and her crew spent a couple of days in the capital, with 130 sailors marching through Westminster as they exercised their Freedom of the City.