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Largest ever Royal Navy carrier to be named by the Queen

HMS Queen Elizabeth Credit: Royal Navy

The biggest ship ever built for the Royal Navy will be officially named by The Queen today. The three billion pound aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, is being put together in Scotland but large parts of her were built at the BAE Shipyard in Portsmouth.

She'll arrive in the Hampshire city, her home port, in two years.

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Crews able to enjoy Lisbon after busy time at sea

The helicopter carrier pays a routine visit to Lisbon Credit: Royal Navy

Royal Navy helicopter carrier HMS Illustrious has just paid a routine visit to Lisbon after completing Exercise Deep Blue.

Exercise Deep Blue was an Anti-Submarine Warfare exercise involving surface, submarine and air participants from the UK, France and the Netherlands.

The ship at the heart of the city in Jardim do Tabaco Credit: Royal Navy
Crew on board the ship were able to enjoy the sights and sounds of the city after a busy time at sea Credit: Royal Navy

For an intensive two week period, a multitude of exercise scenarios tested, and proved, the capabilities of all units working together as a multi-national task group.

Crews were able to enjoy the fantastic sights and sounds of Lisbon after their busy work schedule!

HMS Illustrious commended for relieving suffering

Crew of HMS Illustrious Credit: Royal Navy

HMS Illustrious has been awarded a commendation for their efforts supporting the humanitarian and disaster relief operation following Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

A team of 21 officers and ratings from the ship's supply department were recognised by Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Philip Jones in Portsmouth Naval Base.

HMS Illustrious was part of a deployment to the Middle East – when she was diverted to assist in the Philippines in November last year.

Crew of HMS Illustrious unpack supplies in the Philippines Credit: Royal Navy

The citation reads: “ There is no doubt that the supply chain department made an exceptional and outstanding contribution. Largely unseen, the team displayed the highest levels of professionalism and were absolutely pivotal to HMS Illustrious’ ability to relieve suffering in the Philippines."

Royal Navy cuts 'a national disgrace'

HMS Edinburgh, the last of the Royal Navy's Type 42 destroyers, was decommissioned in June 2013 Credit: Press Association Images

The Government's cuts to the Royal Navy's fleet have gone too far and are a 'national disgrace', a former head of the service has warned. Lord West of Spithead, a former first sea lord, said the coalition had not just cut to the bone but 'into the bone'.

The Labour peer insisted the UK had been left with too few ships to escort naval convoys and warned the possibility of Scottish independence poses the greatest security and defence threat to the UK.

Lord West said: 'A great maritime nation like us, where we still run global shipping from London and we're totally reliant on that, those sinews that keep the global village together, to have 19 escorts I think is a national disgrace actually. We really do need to think very, very hard about that.'

Lord West of Spithead was First Sea Lord from 2002 to 2006 Credit: Press Association Images

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HMS Diamond 'at forefront' of Syria operation

HMS Diamond holds a day-into-night Replenishment At Sea with the French Ship Var Credit: FS Var

The Portsmouth-based HMS Diamond has been helping out a French tanker as part of her Mediterranean deployment.

Since leaving her home base of Portsmouth, HMS Diamond has been at the forefront of operations.

The naval ship is currently supporting Op RECSYR, which stands for Removal of Chemical Weapons from Syria.

HMS Diamond holds a day-into-night Replenishment At Sea with the French Ship Var Credit: Royal Navy

Petty Officer Scott Gratton, the Chief Bosun’s Mate who has responsibility for all seamanship evolutions, said: “Replenishing whilst underway is widely considered to be the most dangerous peace time evolution a warship will carry out.

"It would be akin to driving alongside a petrol tanker on the motorway refuelling your car for around three hours.”

Circuit class on ice, crew onboard HMS Protector get fit!

Sailors on board Portsmouth based HMS Protector used a rare lull in the ships busy programme to do an hour long workout session.

Crew were lead by the ship's physical training instructor to do squats and press-ups on thick ice in Antarctica.

Crew perform press-ups and squats on thick ice in Antarctica Credit: Royal Navy

The ship is coming to the end of its 'summer season' surveying the waters around Antarctica.

Due to the icy and cold conditions, the crews have to train inside in usually cramped conditions.

Crew being pushed to their limits during their work out Credit: Royal Navy

The Leading Physical Trainer Gareth Smith said, "The ship was surrounded by ice for miles around and the decision was taken to allow people on the ice.

"The idea then struck me: after a month of being crammed in the ship's lower hold, if we'd played football, what prevented me from taking a circuit class? A chilly one, granted but one in unbelievably pure air, with an amazing back drop and without the constraints of space."

HMS Protector crew after their gruelling work out Credit: Royal Navy

Marines and sailors awarded for going 'above and beyond' the call of duty

23 sailors and Royal Marines who have gone ‘above and beyond’ the normal call of duty in careers spanning more than 20 years have been singled out for their selfless devotion.

Naval personnel are awarded for going 'above and beyond' Credit: Royal Navy

The Naval personnel received the Meritorious Service Medal – the highest distinction for senior ratings or NCO outside the realm of bravery – from the Second Sea Lord aboard Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory.

Naval personnel are awarded for going 'above and beyond' Credit: Royal Navy

Just 52 Meritorious Service Medals are presented each year by Vice Admiral David Steel, and as well as the presentation, recipients and their families are offered a tour of Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard before an invite to lunch in Admiralty House, the Second Sea Lord’s official residence.

Naval personnel are awarded for going 'above and beyond' Credit: Royal Navy

Captain praises ship's achievements

It has been a pleasure to meet the Captain and crew of HMS Westminster. I am tremendously impressed with what they have achieved throughout their time in the Middle East and I hope we can continue and build upon the excellent work they have done. I wish them fair winds and following seas for their return to Portsmouth to be reunited with their loved ones at the end of the month.

– Commander Mike Smith, Commanding Officer of HMS Somerset

Members of both ships’ companies, including the Commanding Officers, took time to speak to old friends, pass on key information about operations and port visits, as well as exchange farewells before they both go their separate ways.

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