HMS Argyll is being primed for engagement with regional allies in the north east Asian region. The Plymouth-based frigate has been in the South China Sea operating with allied navies from Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and New Zealand.
Now, the Type 23 is alongside in Singapore at the British Defence Singapore Support Unit (BDSSU) and is undergoing routine maintenance to prepare her for the next stage of her deployment.
This is also a chance for ship’s company to recharge after nearly four-and-a-half months at sea – during which they have conducted operations in the Middle East and the Asia Pacific region.
Argyll will be the third Royal Navy warship deployed in north east Asia this year.
“This mid-deployment stop allows the ship’s company to enjoy some well-deserved leave,” said Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander George Walton.
“Each member of the crew will enjoy two weeks of leave as an essential component of balancing service life with the needs of individuals and families.
“Having been at sea for long periods of time and working over numerous weekends this is a very welcome opportunity.”
Hot from Exercise Bersama Lima, the stop in Singapore marks the half-way point in a nine-month deployment for Argyll.
Argyll was recently joined by a dozen other warships including an Australian fleet replenishment vessel, HMAS Sirius, and Singaporean amphibious landing platform dock RSS Persistence on Bersama Lima. A submarine from the Singapore Navy was also involved.
“Exercise Bersama Lima was an incredibly valuable exercise with our friends and allies in the region,” said Lieutenant Commander Simon Henderson, the ship’s operations officer.
“It provides a multi-faceted training scenario over two weeks using submarines, aircraft, land units and the ships from five nations.”
Argyll’s participation in the exercise demonstrated the UK’s continuing commitment to the Five Powers Defence Arrangement – a long-standing agreement with Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and New Zealand.
The BDSSU is made up of quays and fuelling stations and is widely used by the UK’s Five Powers allies.
Argyll is making the most of BDSSU’s facilities and – as is usual when a Royal Navy ship is deployed for a long period – she is being given a lick of paint and a general spruce up ahead of vital exercises in the region.
A local company has been brought into provide the necessary service, but, while not taking leave, the ship’s sailors will be working normal hours, aiding in readying the frigate for the missions ahead.