Royal Navy warship leaves Portsmouth for Nato exercise near Russia

A NAVAL frigate has set sail from Portsmouth to join Nato in reassuring European allies.

Friday, 22nd March 2019, 4:05 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd March 2019, 4:11 pm
HMS Westminster leaves Portsmouth. Picture: PO Phot Dave Jenkins

HMS Westminster set sail from Portsmouth Naval Base today, as she heads over to northern Europe and the Baltic region.

The ship’s company will be joining a Nato task group while visiting a number of ports in the area, reassuring allies and acting as a deterrent for potential adversaries.

Commander Will Paston, Westminster's commanding officer, said: ‘We have a ship’s company ho have recent experience of operating in the area, which is a great opportunity to train with our Nato allies and maintain close ties with our longstanding regional partners.’

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Standing Nato Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) will be led by Rear Admiral Edward Cashman of the US Navy.

The other two ships forming the task group are the German Rhön-class tanker FGS Spessart and the Polish frigate ORP General Kazimierz Pulaski.

In recent years Royal Navy ships have been used to escort Russian warships through the English Channel.