Navy

HMS Argyll Returns To UK After Nine-Month Deployment

The vessel is returning to the UK after a nine-month deployment.

HMS Argyll has returned home to Devonport after a nine-month deployment in the Far East.

The Type 23 frigate deployed in June 2018 and has spent the last nine months in south-east Asia on various exercises with other nations.

With 230 crew members onboard, she has been in the Red Sea and the Gulf, working on operations to counter piracy and terrorism and acting as security for the waters.

She is the first Royal Navy warship to have been deployed with Sea Ceptor, a supersonic missile defence system.

Sea Ceptor missile being fired
HMS Argyll was the first Royal Navy warship to test-fire Sea Ceptor missiles (Picture: MOD).

Friends and family members of the crew gathered in Devonport to greet the arrival of HMS Argyll on Friday morning.

One family told Forces News: "I'm so proud. It's great to see them."

HMS Argyll homecoming crowds Devonport

During the deployment, HMS Argyll and her crew have also been building relations with the Japanese Defence Force - working alongside them on operations.

More recently, the ship's company saved all members aboard a cargo ship after its containers and cars caught fire off the coast of France.

Royal Navy personnel responded to a mayday from the 28,000-tonne Italian merchant ship, Grande America, in the Bay of Biscay, around 150 miles southwest of Brest.

HMS Argyll had only just began her journey home to Plymouth when the alert was raised.

Commander Toby Shaughnessy said he was concerned about committing people and resources into the water.

"It was clear it was gonna be the only way we were going to recover the lifeboat and recover the 27 crew members."

HMS Argyll seaboat pushing lifeboat
Argyll's sea boat was used to help Grande America's crew climb aboard their lifeboat (Picture: MOD).

Marine Finn Kenevan was part of the boarding team and said they had to work fast.

"Its quite incredible to see how quickly and how efficiently everyone was working when they knew lives were on the line."

HMS Argyll was also involved in Exercise Bersama Lima - a joint naval exercise between the UK, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand - which was part of the Five Powers Defence Arrangement.