Royal Navy warship HMS Montrose was given a warm welcome when she returned home to Plymouth last week.

After successful operations including supporting Operation Recsyr, the international effort to remove chemicals from Syria, the frigate sailed into Her Majesty’s Naval Base Devonport to a welcome from over 500 family members and friends. The seven-month deployment saw the ship travel 32,000 miles, visiting 12 ports in 10 countries. The ship initially sailed into the Mediterranean in August with a number of other warships as part of the Response Force Task Group for Cougar 2013, an exercise designed to enhance the Royal Navy’s skill at operating at long range from land and support. She then made her way to the Gulf where she conducted maritime security and reassurance patrols alongside partner nations in the region; safeguarding the sea-lanes of the Middle East. In November Montrose became the UK’s primary maritime policing patrol vessel in the Gulf. A new task then directed the ship into the eastern Mediterranean to join Operation Recsyr.

After arriving off the coast of Syria in mid-January, HMS Montrose and a multinational task group of warships from Denmark and Norway carried out escort and close protection duties for two merchant vessels transporting chemicals out of Syria for destruction. After leave and a short period of maintenance HMS Montrose will take on the role of the Royal Navy’s high readiness ‘on-call’ warship.