Royal Navy frigate HMS Westminster ‘sailed’ up the Thames and under Tower Bridge to moor alongside museum ship HMS Belfast, on Wednesday 13 March 2013. The ship’s visit to the capital was an opportunity to strengthen and renew the affiliations that HMS Westminster has with a number of London-based organisations.
The Type 23 frigate, which is affiliated to its namesake borough, transited through Tower Bridge at 3.30pm for the start of a six-day regional engagement visit.
Unfortunately her passage coincided with a wintry storm and very dark conditions.
The ship’s commanding officer, Captain Hugh Beard, will pay a visit to the Lord Mayor of Westminster and host invited guests and dignitaries on board for a reception and capability demonstration. On Sunday, March 17, members of her ship’s company will parade at the service at Westminster Abbey.
The ship recently received the Frigates Efficiency Award, presented by Rear Admiral Jess (ACNS Support) at the end of January, much to her crew’s delight following an action packed 2012 of anti-piracy patrols, drugs busting, Gulf patrols and mid-Atlantic tasking. The ship is one of the Royal Navy’s 19 highly capable multi-role frigates and destroyers – together with their embarked helicopters and Royal Marines Units – which are the workhorses of the Fleet, providing a highly-trained input to anti-piracy, counter-narcotics and anti-terrorism operations around the world.
Later this year, the ship will be assigned to the UK’s maritime quick-reaction force, the Response Force Task Group, deploying on an exercise to the Mediterranean called Cougar 13. From the autumn, she will deploy to the Middle East region.
HMS Westminster was built by Swan Hunter Shipbuilders on the Tyne, launched by Lady Livesay on February 9, 1992, and accepted into service at the end of 1993. She is the eighth ship to bear the name.