The Royal Naval frigate HMS Cornwall has handed over duties as the command ship for a counter-piracy patrol before returning to her base-port HM Naval Base, Devonport, Plymouth, after six months deployed.
The Type 22 frigate hosted the change-of-command ceremony for Combined Task Force 151, which marked the end of the ship’s time as the command vessel for the maritime policing patrol group and the conclusion of her counter-piracy duties in the Gulf of Aden, protecting trade routes crucial to UK trade.
Whilst tied up alongside in Aqaba, Jordan, HMS Cornwall was visited by the head of the Royal Navy’s operational fleet Admiral Sir Trevor Soar (Commander-in-Chief-Fleet). He heard first-hand from the crew about their achievements during her deployment and in particular to focus on the experiences of the current tempo of counter-piracy operations.
Admiral Soar said: “HMS Cornwall is returning from a very successful and lengthy period of operations and it is a real privilege for me to be able to meet her during her time alongside in Aqaba. Her stay will further strengthen ties between the UK and Jordan whilst also giving the ship’s company a well-earned break after their time on counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean.”
HMS Cornwall deployed from Plymouth on 28th October 2010 and has spent the last four months conducting counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. During this time she has also been the command ship for the counter-piracy task force of a multi-national naval partnership, which exists to promote security, stability and prosperity across 2.5 million square miles of international waters in the Middle East, encompassing some of the world’s most important shipping lanes.
The ship has also offered medical assistance to merchant seamen, escorted many vulnerable merchant vessels and disrupted multiple Somali pirate attacks in the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean. Of particular note was the releasing of five Yemeni hostages and their fishing Dhow from their pirate captors.