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Sailor's families wave off HMS Richmond

Family and friends of the sailors of HMS Richmond have waved them goodbye this Saturday lunchtime as the Type 23 Frigate leaves Portsmouth for the Middle East.

Her task is to provide reassurance to the UK’s allies in the region, whilst conducting maritime security, counter narcotics and counter-piracy patrols to protect British trade and wider national interests.

Around a hundred people wave off the ship Credit: RN Media and Comms

The ship and her crew are replacing HMS Kent in the region. The vessel will take part in anti-piracy and anti-narcotics patrols in the area. It is a routine 9 month deployment for HMS Richmond and her main role is to provide reassurance to the UK’s allies in the region.

This deployment has been a year in the making since our return from the South Atlantic in early 2014. The entire ship’s company has worked hard to ensure that we are ready to take on this important work

– HMS Richmond’s Commanding Officer, Commander Mark Anderson
HMR Richmond leaves Portsmouth Credit: RN Media and Comms

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HMS Richmond to set sail

HMS Richmond in Portsmouth Credit: Ben Mitchell/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Type 23 Frigate is to set sail today, Saturday, for the Middle East where she will take part in security operations. The ship will replace her sister vessel HMS Kent in the region.

The nine month deployment will form part of the Royal Navy's long term presence East of Suez. Her main task will be to provide reassurance to the UK's allies in the region as well as taking part in counter piracy operations and general maritime security. It is a routine deployment for the Navy.

The ship's crew's families are expected to wave the ship off from her Portsmouth base.

HMS Richmond passes through Panama Canal

Portsmouth based HMS Richmond has passed through the Panama Canal for the first time in her 20 year history.

This is one of the last major navigational milestones for the ship.

HMS Richmond passing through the Panama Canal Credit: Royal Navy

HMS Richmond's Navigator, Lietenant Chris Daly said, "Despite being Richmond's first transit through the Panama Canal, it is a well trodden route by the Royal Navy Warships. Nonetheless, as a Navigator it was certainly one of my highlights of this deployment."

The frigate is now carrying out maritime security patrols in the Caribbean which will bring her 7 month deployment to an end.

This web cam shot shows the transit through the Miraflores Lock Credit: Royal Navy