Image by LA(PHOT) Keith Morgan, Royal Navy
29 July 2011 (Royal Navy) HMS Sutherland practised Naval Gunnery Support (NGS) drills by firing High Explosive (HE) and Star Shell rounds from her 4.5-inch gun. These drills were carried out only 2 days after HMS Sutherland was involved in fire missions off the coast of Libya.
HMS Sutherland has currently been re-tasked to NATO to support Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR, the mission to protect the people of Libya and enforce the United Nations embargo.
Having been temporarily detached from the RFTG, HMS Sutherland is poised and ready for immediate tasking off the coast of Libya to support fellow Royal Navy and NATO units.
HMS Sutherland is deployed with the lead element of the Cougar 11 deployment as part of the Royal Navy’s Response Force Task Group (RFTG). The RFTG has taken part in multi-national exercises in the Mediterranean before she moved East through the Suez Canal for further exercises in the Indian Ocean.
The Type 23 Duke Class Frigate is capable of operating at high tempo for sustained periods with her highly motivated and well trained ship’s company, and is ready to undertake the full range of tasking to develop and demonstrate the Royal Navy’s contingent capability by remaining flexible to respond to short notice tasking across a diverse range of defence activities including disaster relief, humanitarian aid and amphibious operations.
The RFTG is a new initiative announced in last years Strategic Defence and Security Review and is at the heart of the UK’s maritime contingent capability, held at very high readiness to respond to unexpected global events. The Task Group is commanded from the Fleet Flagship HMS Albion, by Commodore John Kingwell Royal Navy, Commander United Kingdom Task Group (COMUKTG).