Royal Navy families look forward to Christmas as HMS Lancaster returns to Portsmouth
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The operation came at the end of a tour to the High North where the Type 23 Frigate led a freedom of navigation operation as part of a multi-national task group within the Arctic Circle.
Speaking about HMS Lancaster’s tour which took in the North Cape of Norway, minister for the Armed Forces James Heappey said: ‘The High North and Arctic region is vitally important to our security of the UK, as well as some of our closest allies in Scandinavia, the Baltic Region and northern Europe.
‘Deployments such as this demonstrate to our allies and adversaries alike that the UK will be forward-leaning in supporting the security and stability of the region.’
After eight weeks at sea, naval personnel will be looking forward to spending Christmas with their families, some of whom had gathered on top of the Round Tower at the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour to welcome Lancaster back into port.
Georgia Davis, 26, was looking forward to seeing boyfriend and weapons engineer Jack Feltham, 27.
Georgia said: ‘I’m so excited to see Jack and myself and my family are very proud of him. They have been away for eight weeks – longer than planned as they were originally supposed to return on November 29.
‘It will be great to have him home for Christmas.’
Also waiting to welcome back lieutenant surgeon Katherine Richardson, 29, was her father Nigel Richardson, 62, and her partner Harry Favrokordavos.
Nigel said: ‘This is the first time she has been away on deployment. I was here to watch her off and I’m here to see her return. I’m really looking forward to seeing her again.’
Harry added: ‘I can’t wait to see her and we have big plans for a family Christmas together in Gosport.’
After completing her deployment, HMS Lancaster commanding officer, Commander William Blackett, said: ‘For HMS Lancaster this short operation was a great way to close out a challenging year of trials and training.’