IT IS the ship that will spend 330 days a year at sea, and is a symbol of unity between Nato states.
HMS Enterprise officially took over as the flagship for a NATO mission, which was previously led by a Polish navy ship. She will sail in two weeks.
The Nato flagship will serve as a multinational force, to be deployed in the Mediterranean and Black Seas.
Nato says that the task force that will be on board the ship, Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2, aims to project a constant and visible reminder of NATO’s solidarity and cohesion afloat in the region.
The Standing NATO Maritime Groups provide a maritime capability for operations and other activities in peacetime and in periods of crisis and conflict.
With an Alliance presence, they are able to maintain maritime security, conduct routine diplomatic visits to different countries, support transformation and provide a variety of specialist military maritime capabilities to ongoing missions.
Commander of SNMCMG2 Justin Hains says that the atmosphere on board the Enterprise has been fantastic, with all crew members looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead.
He explained: ‘HMS Enterprise has recently been embarked upon and the staff could not be any more welcoming. We have worked extremely hard to get this far. It is an extreme privilege of command that you meet some amazing people, and already the ships company and my staff are doing so much more than I ask of them, to make sure that we are ready for the mission ahead.’
Portsmouth is close to Commander Hains’ heart, having grown up in the area. He added: ‘This will be my flagship for the next few years, and personally, it is a very important day to me.
‘I’m local to Portsmouth and have always considered this my home.