The British Royal Navy warship HMS Montrose was given a rapturous upon her return to Plymouth yesterday, following deployment in operations including Operation Recsyr, the international effort to remove chemicals from Syria.
The troops were welcomed back from their 7-month deployment which saw them travelling 32,000 miles, visiting 12 ports in 10 countries. Around 500 family members and friends turned out to welcome back the Montrose and its crew.
Deputy Logistics Officer Lieutenant Nick Robinson, who helps keep the ship supplied with everything from bullets to butter, said: “Over the course of the deployment we have eaten over 12 tonnes of potatoes, which is equivalent to the weight of a double-decker bus, 2,700 kilograms of baked beans, or, if you prefer, 20 baths full, 2.2 kilometres of sausages, 7,000 litres of milk and 24,480 eggs.”
During its deployment, HMS Montrose produced 2,943 tonnes of fresh drinking water (converted from sea water), enough to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Five members of the ship’s company proposed to loved ones while away and are now engaged to be married.
The ship has visited Greece, Djibouti, Bahrain, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ras al-Khaimah, Cyprus, Malta and Gibraltar.
The HMS Montrose arrived off the coast of Syria in mid-January, where she carried out escort and close protection duties for two merchant vessels transporting chemicals out of Syria for onward destruction.
The ship’s commanding officer, Commander James Parkin, praised his crew for taking each operation in their stride. He said: “I am incredibly proud of my ship’s company who have committed themselves to the changing circumstances of this deployment and the professionalism that this mission has demanded. The deployment has been a success in every one of the many tasks that my team have undertaken.”
Leading Engineering Technician Tom Baxter, was reunited with his 13-month-old daughter Ruby. He said: “It’s good to be back. Ruby was only 6 months old when I left. She’s a big girl now. She’s lovely.”