Navy

HMS Westminster Docks In London After Finishing NATO Deployment

The ship's crew also marched through Westminster, the frigate's affiliated city.

HMS Westminster has docked in London after finishing a five-month NATO deployment. 

The Type 23 frigate was part of NATO Standing Maritime Group One, taking part in an intensive programme of exercises. 

Commander Will Paston, HMS Westminster's Commanding Officer, said: "We started off with [Exercise] Joint Warrior, which is held off Scotland for two weeks.

"Then we went across into the Baltic and spent a fair amount of time exercising with all the Baltic states and then came back out and did another exercise, Dynamic Mongoose, which was primarily anti-submarine warfare up in northern Norway, off the coast.

"It's really good to build the strength of the NATO alliance in working together on these exercises."

On her journey back to UK waters from the Arctic Circle, the Type 23 frigate shadowed a Chinese warship through the English Channel

The ship's arrival in the capital marks five years since she last visited her affiliated city of Westminster.

Sailors pass Downing Street as they exercise their Freedom of the City.
Sailors pass Downing Street as they exercise their Freedom of the City.

Members of the public were invited on board the ship and its company also exercised their Freedom of the City. 

A total of 130 sailors marched through the streets of Westminster, starting at Horse Guards Parade before passing through Whitehall and then the Houses of Parliament.

Commander Will Paston said his crew were happy to be back in Westminster: "The team are really pleased to be here.

"It's really important that we build our affiliations and strengthen those bonds with our affiliated towns."

In the coming days, HMS Westminster will leave West India Dock in Canary Wharf and return to her home base of Portsmouth where more ceremonies will be held.