15 Jan 2019

Devonport berths HMS Montrose on research mission

6:43 pm on 15 January 2019

A British warship has arrived in Devonport for a five-day visit as it embarks on a global environmental and security deployment.

Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose is pictured at speed in the Mediterranean Sea during Exercise Cougar 12.

Photo: Crown Copyright / Open Government Licence

HMS Montrose is the first Royal Navy ship to berth at the base in more than 20 years and will be here until Sunday.

The ship is in the early stages of a three-year deployment from her home port in Plymouth and has visited Chile, Easter Island and Pitcairn Islands.

While en route to New Zealand, the vessel joined a global fight against plastic littering and recorded pollution on four Pacific islands.

HMS Montrose

HMS Montrose Photo: Supplied.

Crew onboard also used a helicopter to take pictures of plastics around remote islands, including Pitcairn, which are being used by conservationists for a clean-up this year.

HMS Montrose and crew have been welcomed with a traditional pōwhiri onto Te Taua Moana o Aotearoa marae.

There will also be a sports day between members of New Zealand's Navy and the Royal Navy tomorrow afternoon.

The warship will visit four continents and eventually arrive at the new British Naval Support Facility in Bahrain for deployment in the Gulf region.

HMS Montrose commanding officer Conor O'Neill said there was a benefit to be berthed in Bahrain.

He said there was direct access to the Gulf region, Indian Ocean, and it enabled easy travel back to the Pacific.

"We are there to support day-to-day maritime security - so it is keeping the sea lanes clear...counter terrorism work...or general maritime security with our allies and partners in the region."