HMS Richmond a Type 23 Duke Class frigate , launched in 1993, left Portsmouth in May 2007 after a major refit making her one of the Royal Navy's most advanced warships with vertical launch Seawolf missile system ,a 4.5 inch gun and Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and enhanced aviation facilities to accommodate the 3 man Merlin helicopter - which has sufficient fuel for a radius of operation of over 200 nautical miles and a comprehensive communications fit that includes a datalink so the flight crew and the ship will know where they are at any time - in theory they can't get fucking lost.
She steamed into the Northern Arabian Gulf yesterday, Tuesday 17 July 2007, to take over Iraqi oil platform protection duties from HMS Cornwall who famously lost their boats and crew to the Iranian Navy in a recent major sea battle in the Shatt al Arab.
Richmond's Commanding Officer, Commander Piers Hurrell said:
"My team has worked extremely hard to get Richmond to this position and I amdelighted to be continuing the crucial work that the Royal Navy in conjunction with our Coalition partners is conducting in the region."
Which presumably means , no smoking , no iPods or giving away MOD property to lightly armed Iranian patrol boats.She is due to return to Portsmouth in December 2007. ... hopefully with all hands aboard.
Brief history lesson about HMS Richmond
It is to be hoped that they fare better than the original HMS Richmond which after leaving Charles Town, was part of the British fleet bringing aid to General Cornwallis at York Town and met the larger French fleet that had been standing off York Town in the York River.
The Richmond performed duties of a frigate during engagement with the larger French fleet. Subsequently the Richmond and H.M.Frigate Iris were dispatched back to where the French fleet had been anchored in the York River.
Since the French fleet did not have time to raise their anchors, they still lay on the river bottom connected by their heavy cable to floating buoys on the surface where they could be retrieved upon returning.
The assignment of the Richmond and the Iris was to cut the buoys away depriving the large French Ships Of The Line from these anchors. In a river current having a rip tide, this could cause them problems depending on the size and number of spare anchors each still had on board.
While cutting the buoys loose, both the Richmond and the Iris were trapped in the narrow river by the returning French fleet, resulting in the Richmond and the Iris being captured by de Grasse's fleet on 11 September, 1781.
UPDATE 20th Jult 2007 new Armed Forces Minister Bob Ainsworth paid his first visit to Iraq yesterday.
Mr Ainsworth flew into Basra to get a briefing on British operations in South Eastern Iraq from senior British and Iraqi officers and then met personnel from all three services. He went on board HMS Richmond, currently patrolling to protect Iraq's oil platforms in the North Arabian Gulf.