Royal Navy: HMS Cutlass carries out attacks alongside Portuguese Navy and marines in the Algarve

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Royal Navy sailors carried out inshore attacks alongside the Portuguese Navy in key exercises.

HMS Cutlass was joined by Portuguese vessels NRP Cassiopeia and NRP Hidra during the operation. A boarding team of Portuguese marines in Portimão also joined the squadron for the operation.

The Royal Navy said the combined training included simulated Fast Inshore Attack Craft attacks, officer of the watch manoeuvres, towing, man overboard recovery drills and gunnery. Lieutenant Commander Cameron Walters, HMS Cutlass’ Commanding Officer, said: “The Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron used to visit Portugal frequently, but due to Covid and the work getting the Cutlass-class to full operational capability, we haven’t visited the region since 2018 in HMS Scimitar.

HMS Cutlass has been deployed alongside the Portuguese Navy for exercises in the Algarve. Pictured is a Portuguese RIB approaches HMS Cutlass. Picture: Royal NavyHMS Cutlass has been deployed alongside the Portuguese Navy for exercises in the Algarve. Pictured is a Portuguese RIB approaches HMS Cutlass. Picture: Royal Navy
HMS Cutlass has been deployed alongside the Portuguese Navy for exercises in the Algarve. Pictured is a Portuguese RIB approaches HMS Cutlass. Picture: Royal Navy | Royal Navy

HMS Cutlass, with the Gibraltar Squadron, far right leads the two Portuguese patrol boats on manoeuvres. HMS Cutlass, with the Gibraltar Squadron, far right leads the two Portuguese patrol boats on manoeuvres.
HMS Cutlass, with the Gibraltar Squadron, far right leads the two Portuguese patrol boats on manoeuvres. | Royal Navy

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“The deployment has been very important for the squadron to prove the range of the Cutlass class whilst also visiting somewhere different and working alongside our friends in the Portuguese Navy.” HMS Cutlass travelled through the strait of Gibraltar and across the Bay of Cadiz near Spain ahead of the exercises.

The furthest the RN Gibraltar Squadron had gone beyond the Rock was a first visit to Tangier in Morocco last May, although in previous incarnations the squadron regularly exercised with its Nato ally off the coast of the Algarve.

CO Walters added: “It was fantastic to share tactics and procedures with a fellow NATO ally by training together; our hosts from the Southern Maritime Zone Command could not have been more welcoming and we very much look forward to returning in the future.”

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