Royal welcome for HMS KENT
Kent royals will greet ship in Solent on Monday...
Portsmouth warship HMS Kent will sail home to a royal reception when she returns from South Asia and the Far East on Monday (December 15).
HRH Prince Michael of Kent – brother of the ship's sponsor Princess Alexandra and Honorary Rear Admiral of the Royal Naval Reserve – will join the Type 23 frigate while at anchor in The Solent and meet some of her 174 crew. He will spend a couple of hours on board and disembark before HMS Kent begins her short journey into Portsmouth Naval Base.
The ship sailed from the UK on June 1 and has visited many countries including China, Japan, Indonesia and Sri Lanka, demonstrating the UK’s ongoing commitment to the region. Kent conducted several high-level, multi-national exercises with navies from the United States, China, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia.
A key role for the frigate has been maritime security, which encourages security and stability at sea by combating challenges such as drug-trafficking, terrorism and international crime.
HMS Kent’s Commanding Officer, Commander Simon Hopper, said:
“I am extremely proud of the hard work my team have put in over the last seven months. They have done everything possible to ensure that HMS Kent has represented the UK and the Royal Navy with absolute professionalism half-way around the World.
“We have visited some fascinating countries during our deployment, but nothing beats the feeling of coming home to see families and friends waiting on the jetty and the chance to see Pompey playing live at Fratton Park again.”
For many of the crew, it was the first time they will have deployed to the Far East, for some it was their first deployment away from home. In between a busy schedule of operations, exercises and defence diplomacy visits, they took the opportunity to explore and experience the surrounding area and diverse cultures of each port. From scaling the heights of Mount Fuji to elephant rides in the Sri Lankan jungle, HMS Kent’s sailors have been kept busy both on operations and adventurous training and return to a well-earned period of leave.
HMS KENT was built by BAe Systems (formerly Yarrow Shipbuilders) at Scotstoun (on the Clyde) and was launched in May 1998 by her Sponsor, HRH Princess Alexandra. The 14th of 16 Type 23 'Duke' Class Frigates, HMS Kent was commissioned on 8 June 2000 and is based in Portsmouth.