HMS Lancaster arrives in Bermuda

A Merlin helicopter from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose has been training with HMS Queen Elizabeth in Portsmouth Naval Base as part of her Rotary Wing Trials

Helicopter puts flight deck crew through its paces

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PORTSMOUTH-based HMS Lancaster has arrived in Bermuda – her first stop on a six-month deployment to the North Atlantic and Caribbean.

She has joined RFA Wave Knight as part of the Atlantic Patrol Taskforce, which provides humanitarian aid and disaster relief support to the UK’s British Overseas Territories and other islands during the Caribbean hurricane season.

RFA Wave Knight has been on operations in this region since the beginning of the year.

HMS Lancaster’s Commanding Officer, Commander Steve Moorhouse, said: ‘I am particularly pleased the island of Bermuda is the first port of call on our deployment.

‘The relationship between Bermuda and the Royal Navy goes back hundreds of years and it is appropriate that as we arrive in the Caribbean we return to an island that was once a welcoming home to many naval personnel.

‘After many months of preparation, the visit is a fantastic reward for my ship’s company and we are looking forward to strengthening our relationship with Bermuda and supporting the islanders in any way possible.’

During her brief visit to Bermuda members of the public will have the opportunity to go onboard the Type 23 frigate.

The ship’s company will also meet the Governor and attend the Bermuda Regiment Change of Command parade.

They will also undertake joint training with elements of the regiment and spend time with the Bermuda Police Service.

In 2012 Lancaster was refitted and this will be her first deployment after the modifications made to the interior and exterior of the ship.

During the six-month deployment, HMS Lancaster will visit all six of the British Overseas Territories in the region as well as numerous Commonwealth and Caribbean countries in order to conduct regional defence engagement.

These visits will provide the opportunity to train with other navies as well as demonstrate the Royal Navy’s continued commitment to the region.

In between visits, Lancaster will be conducting counter narcotics patrols in conjunction with the US Coast Guard but will remain at high readiness throughout the deployment to provide support and life-saving assistance in the wake of a hurricane or other natural disasters.