HMS Richmond (F239)
is a Type 23 frigate
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
She sailed from the builders on the River
Tyne in November 1994.
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.
year Richmond escorted the royal
Britannia on the
ship's final leg of her final tour of the United Kingdom prior to her decommissioning.
Richmond participated in two significant NATO naval
exercises and arrived in New
York where she was involved in the US Navy Fleet
In 1999 Richmond
was dispatched to the South
Atlantic as part of Atlantic Patrol Task
underwent a major overhaul which concluded in 2000. In 2001
joined the NATO multi-national squadron Standing Naval Force
. In 2002 she arrived in the Caribbean where she
performed tasks including obligatory "fly-the-flag" duties to the
the region as well as undergoing trials.
under the command of Commander Wayne
Keble, she deployed to the Persian Gulf on Armilla Patrol
where she relieved HMS
She had arrived shortly before the
2003 Iraq War
. When hostilities began,
, HM ships Chatham
and HMAS Anzac
of the Royal Australian Navy
Gunfire Support (NGS) during the Royal
' amphibious assault of the
Al Faw Peninsula
, the first amphibious assault by the Marines
since the Falklands War
remained in the region at the war's end and
returned home in August.
2004, under the command of Commander Mike
McCartain, Richmond deployed on Atlantic Patrol Task , which
encompasses the Atlantic and Caribbean regions. Two of the ports she visited early in the
deployment were Jamaica and Belize.
came to the assistance of the Turks and Caicos Islands
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.
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.
and her accompanying
Royal Fleet Auxiliary
RFA Wave Ruler
to the assistance of the island. The extent of the damage in
Grenada reached such levels that Keith
, Prime Minister of Grenada, was forced to relocate to
after his residence was destroyed by the
hurricane. The Prime Minister effectively ran his country from
for several hours.
Her crew having performed vital assistance on land at Grenada, HMS
steamed at her top speed for Jamaica to assist
that country in recovering from the ravages of Hurricane
Richmond returned from her
deployment in December 2004, and began a refit period at HM Naval
Base Portsmouth in
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