Crew bids farewell to HMS Enterprise at decommissioning ceremony in Portsmouth

Watch: HMS Enterprise decommissioned in Portsmouth.

The crew of HMS Enterprise have bid farewell to the ship after she was decommissioned at a ceremony at HMNB Portsmouth.

Marching from the survey ship onto the dockyard, on Thursday, the crew paraded before family, friends and former commanding officers of HMS Enterprise ahead of the service.

Following a service of thanksgiving for the ship, the VIP for the ceremony, Admiral Sir Ian Fobes, and Lady Sally Forbes, the ship's sponsor, gave an address.

Accompanying the proceedings was the Band of His Majesty's Royal Marines Portsmouth, which played a number of hymns and songs throughout the service.

Finally, Commander Malcolm McCallum, Commanding Officer of HMS Enterprise, addressed the crew before the white ensign was lowered for the final time and presented to Lady Forbes.

Cdr McCallum, who served on HMS Enterprise as his first deployment in the Navy, said the decommissioning of the ship was "really emotional", adding that he saw "pride" in the faces of the crew.

"Pride that they've got a ship that's still relevant, still operational up until the last minute," he said, "and when a ship's company feels pride in their ship, you know you've done a good job.

"I've travelled all around the world on this ship and I can't really pinpoint a specific place, but the highlights to me are the people on board who served with me."

First entering service in 2003, HMS Enterprise's core military role was to gather data and survey the seas for the Royal Navy.

As well as survey operations, the Devonport-based Echo class multi-role survey vessel also worked on humanitarian aid in the Mediterranean, ensuring 13,000 people were transported to safety.

HMS Enterprise was notably deployed to Beirut in August 2020 after the explosion in Lebanon, which claimed the lives of 218 people. 

Petty Officer Ben Wansborough, a Hydrographic Surveyor on board HMS Enterprise, said his experience of being on the ship is "what you join the Navy for".

He added the decommissioning of the ship was an "emotional day", but the crew were here to "celebrate" their achievements.

"I was lucky enough to spend just under half of [HMS Enterprise's] service life on board, so I've got quite a bit to celebrate."

Thursday's service follows the decommissioning of HMS Enterprise's sister ship, HMS Echo, which was taken out of service last year.

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