HRH The Princess Royal at HM Naval Base Clyde (Picture: Royal Navy).
Serving Royal Navy submariners, veterans, families and support workers have marked 50 years of the Continuous At Sea Deterrent (CASD) at HM Naval Base Clyde on Friday.
Since 1969, at least one Royal Navy ballistic missile submarine has been at sea on patrol, providing the UK’s continuous nuclear deterrent.
During that entire time, the submarines and their crews have operated from and been supported by HM Naval Base Clyde in Argyll and Bute, Scotland.
In recognition of this service, Faslane hosted a military parade in front of HRH The Princess Royal.
Rear Admiral John Weale, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff Submarines, said:
"It is a massive landmark for the UK, the commitment and dedication that's gone into keeping a submarine at sea, on continuous patrol, 24 hours, seven days a week for 50 years, is a huge national endeavour."
The mission began with the Resolution-class submarines in 1969 and transferred to the Vanguard class in the 1990s.
In the future the new Dreadnought class, ballistic submarines will come into service and also be based at HM Naval Base Clyde, ensuring the mission's next 50 years.
"If we stopped our patrols nothing might happen tomorrow, but in months or maybe years it would," said Captain David Pollock.
"Deterrence is about invulnerability and credibility."
Captain Pollock commanded both attack and Trident boats in a 36-year career as a submariner and believes passionately in the deterrence.
According to him, "happiness is a quiet patrol where nothing happens".