Standing Royal Navy deployments
of the British Armed Forces
|History and future|
Standing Royal Navy deployments is a list of operations and commitments undertaken by the United Kingdom's Royal Navy on a worldwide basis. The following list details these commitments and deployments sorted by region and in alphabetical order. Routine deployments made by the Navy's nuclear-powered submarines and their location of operations is classified.
- 1 Atlantic
- 2 British and Northern European Waters
- 3 East of Suez
- 4 Global
- 5 Mediterranean
- 6 Pacific
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Antarctic Patrol is undertaken by the Royal Navy's Antarctic Patrol and Icebreaker, HMS Protector (A173), in the South Atlantic Ocean. Its primary mission is "surveying and gathering data on the seas around Antarctica" while also providing support to the British Antarctic Survey operation stationed in and around the British Antarctic Territory. Two Royal Research Ships of the Merchant Navy are also stationed in the region; RRS James Clark Ross and RRS Ernest Shackleton.
Atlantic Patrol Tasking North
This is the Royal Navy's commitment to secure and protect the interests of Great Britain and her Overseas Territories in the regions of the North Atlantic and the Caribbean. The deployment primarily conducts counter narcotics missions and provides humanitarian assistance during hurricane season. The task is carried out by a single warship; presently RFA Wave Knight (A389) of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary is assigned to the task (2014). Atlantic Patrol Tasking North was formerly known as the West Indies Guard Ship.
Atlantic Patrol Tasking South
The Royal Navy maintains a permanent presence in the South Atlantic and West Africa to provide "ongoing protection and reassurance to British interests" such as the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia, while also supporting British Forces South Atlantic Islands. The commitment consists of two warships; either a guided-missile destroyer or frigate accompanied by a Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel. Presently HMS Portland (F79) and RFA Black Rover (A273) are assigned to the task (2014).
Falkland Islands Patrol Task
The Falkland Islands Patrol Task consists of a single warship (an Offshore Patrol Vessel) stationed around the EEZ of the Falkland Islands. It forms part of British Forces South Atlantic Islands and aims to reassure the inhabitants of the region and maintain British sovereignty. HMS Clyde (P257) has been permanently assigned to the task since her commission. Clyde uses the deepwater naval base facilities of Mare Harbour, East Falkland.
Standing NRF Maritime Group 1
The Royal Navy occasionally provides a single warship to the Standing NRF Maritime Group 1 (part of the NATO Response Force). The standard area of operations for the Standing NRF Maritime Group 2 is the Atlantic Ocean. As of July 2013, the Royal Navy hasn't assigned a warship to Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 since 2012.
British and Northern European Waters
Cold Weather Training
Cold Weather Training is a Royal Navy commitment to the annual Norwegian-led exercise in the Arctic regions. Its purpose is to build and strengthen military ties and to enable the Royal Marines as -well as Royal Navy sailors- to "fight and win" in extreme conditions.
The Fishery Protection Squadron is charged with protecting the British fishing industry, providing security to the oil and gas fields in the North Sea and other duties in the United Kingdoms Exclusive economic zone. It consists of three warships (OPVs); HMS Tyne (P281), HMS Severn (P282) and HMS Mersey (P283).
Exercise Joint Warrior is a Royal Navy (and wider British Armed Forces) commitment to engage in an annual tri-service exercise (including multinational NATO forces) intended to achieve enhanced military effect. It is the largest military exercise in Europe.
Training in UK Home Waters is essential for preparing both crews and ships before overseas deployment. Flag Officer Sea Training is responsible for making sure that both Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships are fit for operational propose after rigorous exercises and readiness inspections. This commitment is ongoing 365 days a year.
East of Suez
Combined Task Force
The Royal Navy regularly contributes to two multinational coalitions; Combined Task Force 150 and Combined Task Force 151. Combined Task Force 150 is focused on maritime security and counter-terrorism; while Combined Task Force 151 is charged with anti-piracy missions. Presently the Royal Navy deploys a single warship to CTF 150, HMS Somerset (F82) (2014).
The Royal Navy remains committed to providing humanitarian aid where possible. During the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami the Royal Navy responded by deploying RFA Diligence (A132) and the frigate HMS Chatham (F87) with Westland Lynx helicopters to provide assistance. In 2014, the Royal Navy deployed HMS Echo (H87) (a multi-role hydrographic survey ship) and HMS Tireless (S88) (a nuclear-powered fleet submarine) to search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in the Indian Ocean Region.
Operation Atalanta is a European Union multinational task force charged to combat terrorism and piracy off the Horn of Africa and Somalia. Operational headquarters are located in the United Kingdom at Northwood Headquarters, London.
The Royal Navy contributes to the ongoing Operation Herrick -the codename for the United Kingdom's operations in Afghanistan. The Navy's commitment to the operation consists of the Royal Marines and several Fleet Air Arm squadrons.
The Royal Navy maintains a continued maritime presence in the Gulf and Indian Ocean regions to protect and secure the nations many political and commercial interests. The enduring commitment usually consists of an escort (a guided-missile destroyer or frigate), a supporting Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship and several other ships with various roles. As of 2014, RFA Fort Austin (A386), RFA Diligence (A132) and HMS Somerset (F82) are assigned to the task. 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines are also assigned to the task force. Operation Kipion was formerly known as the Armilla patrol during the 1980s and 1990s.
Operation Kipion Mine Countermeasures
The Royal Navy maintains a permanent presence in the Gulf consisting of mine countermeasure vessels. It provides continued support to the region ensuring the "safe flow of trade and oil". Presently four vessels are deployed to the region; HMS Quorn (M41), HMS Atherstone (M38), HMS Shoreham (M112) and HMS Ramsey (M110). Typically the mine countermeasure vessels are supported by a Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship acting as a 'mothership'. In 2012 RFA Cardigan Bay (L3009) (pictured right) was tasked to support the vessels.
The Royal Navy maintains close ties with numerous allies and partners East of Suez. In the Gulf Region, such partners include Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia and several other countries with which the UK maintains Defence Cooperation Agreements. In the Far East the UK retains naval facilities at Sembawang in Singapore to support operations in the region as well as those of the Five Powers Defence Arrangements. In 2013 HMS Daring (D32) took part in a Five Powers Defence Arrangement exercise during a nine month global deployment.
Continuous At Sea Deterrent
The Continuous At Sea Deterrent (or Nuclear Deterrent) is provided by the Royal Navy's four Vanguard-class submarines which deploy on a continuous basis around the globe. The Vanguard-class are each armed with a maximum of 16 Trident II D-5 submarine-launched ballistic missiles and 48 nuclear warheads.
Exercise Cougar (or COUGAR) is a routine large scale international exercise held by the Royal Navy. It was created under the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review to demonstrate the operational readiness of the Response Force Task Group (RFTG) to respond to threats worldwide. Unlike Joint Warrior, exercise COUGAR deploys outside of the United Kingdom (primarily to the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean) to demonstrate "its [RFTG] ability to operate as a rapid reaction force on behalf of the UK and, importantly, underlines the global reach and flexibility of the modern Royal Navy." As an international exercise, the RFTG gets the chance to engage in "intense" exercises with foreign and allied navies, such as (for example) the Royal Navy of Oman.
Fleet Ready Escort
The Fleet Ready Escort (FRE) is a single warship maintained at high-readiness for deployment at short notice anywhere in the world. The FRE consists of either a guided-missile destroyer or a frigate. As of January 2014, this commitment has been 'gapped' by the Royal Navy twice; for 19 days in 2011 and 18 days in 2012.
The Royal Navy remains committed to working with its International Partners around the globe. The principle purpose of these partnerships is to reassure allied nations, to share intelligence and expertise, to build trust and ultimately provide security across the worlds oceans. Examples of such International Partnerships of which the Royal Navy plays a leading role include; the maritime component of the Anglo-French Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, AUSCANNZUKUS, the European Maritime Force and the Five Power Defence Arrangements. The United Kingdom is a member of RIMPAC also, although it hasn't participated in several years.
NATO Mine Countermeasures
This is the Royal Navy's commitment to support NATO MCM operations in the Baltic, Northern European Waters, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea (though it is capable of deploying globally if needed). There are two organisational structures; Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2. As of 2014, HMS Blyth (M111) is deployed in the Mediterranean for NATO MCMV training exercises.
Response Force Task Group
Response Force Task Group (RFTG) is the Royal Navy's expeditionary task force maintained at high-readiness and available at short notice to respond to unexpected global events. In addition to war-fighting or amphibious operations, the RFTG can undertake a diverse range of activities such as evacuation operations, disaster relief or humanitarian aid. The composition of the RFTG changes depending on its task and the range of available assets. However, it generally consists of several large amphibious warfare ships (both RN and RFA), guided-missile destroyers, frigates, replenishment ships from the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and sometimes a nuclear-powered fleet submarine.
The Gibraltar Squadron consists of two fast patrol boats; HMS Scimitar (P284) and HMS Sabre (P285). They provide force protection for NATO or coalition warships entering the naval facilities of Gibraltar and conduct maritime security in the surrounding British territorial waters.
Standing NRF Maritime Group 2
The Royal Navy routinely provides a single warship to the Standing NRF Maritime Group 2 (part of the NATO Response Force). The standard area of operations for the Standing NRF Maritime Group 2 is the Mediterranean Sea. As of July 2013, the Royal Navy hasn't assigned a warship to Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 since 2012.
Although the Royal Navy no-longer maintains a permanent presence in the Pacific Ocean, it is still committed to providing humanitarian aid where possible. When Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines in late 2013, the Royal Navy deployed HMS Daring (D32) and HMS Illustrious (R06) as part of the United Kingdom's humanitarian aid mission to the region (known as Operation Patwin).
- "The Royal Navy Deployed Forward Operating Globally". http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/. Royal Navy. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
- Antarctic Patrol, royalnavy.mod.uk, Retrieved 1 June 2014
- Atlantic Patrol Tasking North, royalnavy.mod.uk, Retrieved 1 June 2014
- Tony Skinner, 'RN cuts back Standing Task commitments,' Jane's Defence Weekly, 20 July 2005, p.12
- RFA Wave Knight, royalnavy.mod.uk, Retrieved 1 June 2014
- "West Indies Guard Ship". Retrieved 5 September 2008.
- Atlantic Patrol Tasking South, royalnavy.mod.uk, Retrieved 1 June 2014
- Falkland Islands Patrol Task, royalnavy.mod.uk, Retrieved 1 June 2014
- Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 and 2, aco.nato.int, Retrieved 2 June 2014
- House of Commons Hansard Written Answers (theyworkforyou.com) 17 July 2013
- Cold Weather Training, royalnavy.mod.uk, Retrieved 1 June 2014
- Fishery Protection, royalnavy.mod.uk, Retrieved 1 June 2014
- Joint Warrior, royalnavy.mod.uk, Retrieved 2 June 2014
- Training, royalnavy.mod.uk, Retrieved 2 June 2014
- CTF 150, royalnavy.mod.uk, Retrieved 2 June 2014
- UK boosts help for tsunami victims, theguardian.com, 31 December 2004
- Search For MH370, royalnavy.mod.uk, Retrieved 2 June 2014
- Spanish Ambassador Visits Operational Headquarters in the United Kingdom, eunavfor.eu, 28 May 2014
- Operation Herrick, royalnavy.mod.uk, Retrieved 2 June 2014
- Operation Kipion, royalnavy.mod.uk, Retrieved 2 June 2014
- Operation Kipion Mine Countermeasures, royalnavy.mod.uk, Retrieved 2 June 2014
- Bahrain and UK Sign Defence Cooperation Agreement, 11 October 2012
- House of Commons Hansard Written Answers (publications.parliament.uk) 17 June 2013
- HMS Daring goes on global deployment, royalnavy.mod.uk, 28 May 2013
- Continuous At Sea Deterrent, royalnavy.mod.uk, Retrieved 2 June 2014
- Royal Navy sails for annual ‘Cougar’ deployment, royalnavy.mod.uk, 09 August 2013
- Royal Navy set for Cougar 13, gov.uk, 08 August 2013
- Royal Navy sharpens claws for Exercise Omani Cougar, royalnavy.mod.uk, 25 October 2013
- House of Commons Hansard Written Answers (publications.parliament.uk) 27 January 2014
- International Partnerships, royalnavy.mod.uk, Retrieved 2 June 2014
- NATO Mine Countermeasures, royalnavy.mod.uk, Retrieved 2 June 2014
- Royal Navy ready for unforeseen global events, gov.uk, 9 May 2011
- Gibraltar Squadron, royalnavy.mod.uk, Retrieved 2 June 2014
- Operation Patwin, royalnavy.mod.uk, Retrieved 2014
- Royal Navy: Operations (royalnavy.mod.uk)