HMS Richmond (F239)

HMS Richmond (F239)

HMS "Richmond" (F239) is a Type 23 frigate of the Royal Navy (RN). She was launched 6 April 1993 by Lady Hill-Norton, and was the last warship to be built by Swan Hunter Shipbuilders. She sailed from the builders on the River Tyne in November 1994.

"Richmond" was first deployed in 1997 to the Far East as part of the 'Ocean Wave 97' Task Group. One of the most interesting visits she made was to the Russian port of Vladivostok, an important Russian naval base, where she became the first Royal Navy vessel to visit in over 100 years. Also that year "Richmond" escorted the royal yacht HMY "Britannia" on the ship's final leg of her final tour of the United Kingdom prior to her decommissioning.

In 1998 "Richmond" participated in two significant NATO naval exercises and arrived in New York where she was involved in the US Navy Fleet Week. In 1999 "Richmond" was dispatched to the South Atlantic as part of Atlantic Patrol Task (South) and underwent a major overhaul which concluded in 2000. In 2001 "Richmond" joined the NATO multi-national squadron Standing Naval Force Mediterranean. In 2002 she arrived in the Caribbean where she performed tasks including obligatory "fly-the-flag" duties to the Commonwealth countries in the region as well as undergoing trials.

In 2003, under the command of Commander Wayne Keble, she deployed to the Persian Gulf on Armilla Patrol where she relieved HMS "Cardiff". [cite web|url=|title=News and Events : Royal Navy||accessdate=2008-03-04] She had arrived shortly before the 2003 Iraq War. When hostilities began, "Richmond", HM ships "Chatham", "Marlborough" and HMAS "Anzac" of the Royal Australian Navy provided Naval Gunfire Support (NGS) during the Royal Marines' amphibious assault of the Al Faw Peninsula, the first amphibious assault by the Marines since the Falklands War in 1982. "Richmond" remained in the region at the war's end and returned home in August.

In July 2004, under the command of Commander Mike McCartain, "Richmond" deployed on Atlantic Patrol Task (North), which encompasses the Atlantic and Caribbean regions. Two of the ports she visited early in the deployment were Jamaica and Belize. In September "Richmond" came to the assistance of the Turks and Caicos Islands when they were struck by Hurricane Frances. Fortunately the Turks and Caicos Islands suffered only minimal damage to buildings. "Richmond" then sailed to Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles where she resumed her maintenance period, which had been interrupted due to the hurricane, but remained on standby to provide assistance due to the imminent arrival of Hurricane Ivan.

Hurricane Ivan eventually hit the region, causing significant damage and fatalities, particularly inflicting enormous damage and unfortunately a number of fatalities to Grenada, which included immense damage to the capital St. George's. "Richmond" and her accompanying Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel RFA "Wave Ruler" came to the assistance of the island. The extent of the damage in Grenada reached such levels that Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada, was forced to relocate to "Richmond" after his residence was destroyed by the hurricane. The Prime Minister effectively ran his country from "Richmond" for several hours.

Her crew having performed vital assistance on land at Grenada, HMS "Richmond" steamed at her top speed for Jamaica to assist that country in recovering from the ravages of Hurricane Ivan.

"Richmond" returned from her deployment in December 2004, and began a refit period at HM Naval Base Portsmouth in mid-2005. The refit, undertaken by Fleet Support Limited, was completed in late 2006 and Richmond was returned to the operational fleet in October 2006. With 44 major upgrades to her sensor and weapon systems, Richmond was at that time one of the most capable Type 23 frigates. [cite web| url =| title = Fresh-faced Richmond re-dedicated to the Fleet| accessdate = 2007-01-03| month =December | year =2006 | format = PDF| work = firstBASE| publisher = | pages = ]


*His Grace, The Duke of Richmond and Gordon
*The Yorkshire Regiment (14th/15th, 19th and 33rd/76th Foot)
*Worshipful Company of Basketmakers
*Town of Richmond
*Richmond upon Thames


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