Fighting Clan Casts Off for Security Mission East of Suez

first_img View post tag: Mission HMS Sutherland today sailed from Devonport to begin six months keeping pirates and other criminals in check in the Indian Ocean. The Type 23 frigate – known as the Fighting Clan – sailed from her Devonshire home this afternoon bound for warmer, and more troubled waters.The Fighting Clan takes over from her sister Westminster on a wide-ranging security mission east of Suez for the next six months.Last year it was escorting the Cougar task group to the Mediterranean and Middle East – and smiting the forces of Colonel Gaddafi courtesy of a stint of gunnery bombarding the Libyan government’s war machine.In 2012 her duties are keeping the waters of the Indian Ocean free of pirates, terrorists, and smugglers (of people, drugs and arms) as part of a wide-ranging maritime security mission, taking over from her sister Westminster.In the period between the end of her 2011 deployment and this year’s tour of duty, Sutherland has received the latest version of the Seawolf missile system – effectively doubling the range of her defences should she come under air attack – and her ship’s company have undergone comprehensive training ready for their new mission.“Sutherland’s one of the most advanced and capable warships in the Royal Navy – and I’m privileged to lead the ship on counter-piracy and maritime security operations,” said the Fighting Clan’s Commanding Officer Cdr Al Wilson.Just a day before departing, there was a chance to show loved ones what the new-look Fighting Clan can do, when the frigate took them to sea for a ‘families day’ off Plymouth.There they witnessed low-flying air attacks and boarding operations as well as have a look around the rather cramped conditions the 200 sailors and Royal Marines will be living in for the next six months. And it gave Cdr Wilson the opportunity to thank families in advance for all the support they will give while the frigate is away.“It makes a sad day a little easier to bear,” explained Kersty Norris, the wife of WO1 Mike Norris, the most senior rating on board. She joined the families day with children Alfie and Ross.“It is nice to meet everyone on the ship – and to see where my husband’s home will be for the next six months. It was a special day for Alfie and Rose – they didn’t want their daddy to go away. It was also nice for them to meet other children who are going to be in the same situation as them.”They – and the rest of Sutherland’s families – will see the Type 23 frigate in home waters again just before Christmas.[mappress]Naval Today Staff, July 6, 2012; Image: Royal Navy Back to overview,Home naval-today Fighting Clan Casts Off for Security Mission East of Suez View post tag: Security View post tag: Navy View post tag: Suez July 6, 2012 View post tag: fighting View post tag: Castscenter_img Share this article View post tag: News by topic View post tag: Clan View post tag: off View post tag: East Fighting Clan Casts Off for Security Mission East of Suez View post tag: NVALlast_img read more