1. ITV Report

Hundreds of Royal Navy families reunited for Christmas

Crew members have been away from home since August and were greeted with their emotional families this morning. Credit: ITV West Country

Hundreds of Royal Navy families have had an emotional reunion as HMS Monmouth returned to its base in Plymouth.

The Type 23 Frigate, designed for anti-submarine warfare, has spent the last four months on deployment off the East Coast of the US.

She has been working alongside the US Navy and overseeing the testing of the new F35 fighter jets on the HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Crew members sailed more than 20,000 miles and narrowly avoided two hurricanes on their deployment. Credit: ITV West Country

Crew members have sailed more than 20,000 miles since their departure in August. They also celebrated the Ship's 25th birthday and narrowly avoided two hurricanes.

They were over-joyed to be reunited with their families for the festive season.

HMS Monmouth's Commanding Officer, Commander Will King Royal Navy, said:

WESTLANT18 has been a ground breaking deployment for many reasons, including the huge success of HMS Queen Elizabeth’s historic trials with the F35B-II Lightning. HMS Monmouth has also achieved many firsts and has pioneered the way as the first unit to escort the carrier on deployment, marking another significant stride forward in generating the UK’s carrier strike capability.

During these last four months, we have learned a great many lessons and the task group has benefited enormously from the collective training opportunities. My sail ors have performed to the highest standard throughout and now look to a well-earned and restful Christmas with their families and friends.

– Commander Will King Royal Navy
HMS Monmouth worked alongside the US Navy and the HMS Queen Elizabeth. Credit: ITV West Country

HMS Monmouth also visited Charleston, South Carolina and performed a service of Remembrance to commemorate the centenary of the end of WW1.