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HMS Portland’s Commanding Officer Captain Simon Asquith OBE will sail his Type 23 frigate HMS Portland into Liverpool on Thursday 15 January, for a four day affiliation visit.  HMS Portland will berth alongside Liverpool Cruise Terminal at approximately 13:00 on Thursday and will sail again on Sunday 18 January around 17:30.

On Friday 16 January, HMS Portland will be joined by two Dutch Frigates, namely HNLMS Van Amstel and HNLMS Tromp who will also be berthed alongside at Liverpool Cruise Terminal. The Dutch ships are on a routine visit to Liverpool as part of a NATO exercise.

HMS Portland is one of the youngest Type 23 frigates and has proved herself the fastest and most fearless Type 23 frigate in the Royal Navy. The ship is 133 meters in length with a beam of 16 meters and a displacement of 4,900 tonnes.

Primarily visiting for regional engagement duties, regrettably HMS Portland is not open to the public on this occasion. However, the ship will host a number of invited guests on board throughout her visit including Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, Mersey Naval and Maritime Society and World Ship Society and Rossendale Aviation Society. HMS Portland will also open its gangway to potential Officer Candidates, students from local schools and colleges and local Sea Cadets Corps from Altrincham and Sale, Winsford and Middlewich, Liverpool West Derby and Preston.

On Saturday 17 January, representatives from the Model Boat Convention will be welcomed on board on board to present a cheque to Captain Asquith which will be received on behalf of the Royal Navy & Royal Marines charity.

On Saturday evening, the Ship’s Company will host a Reception and Capability Demonstration on board for invited guests with music provided by the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines, Scotland.

Also during the visit to Liverpool, keen footballers from the Ship’s Company are looking forward to engaging with the local community when they take part in a match against a team of Veterans from Liverpool FC Foundation’s Military Veterans Programme at the Club’s Academy in Kirkby.

Liverpool FC Foundation, the official charity of Liverpool Football Club, delivers a range of initiatives that inspire people from all walks of life to make positive change happen for themselves and their communities.

Captain Asquith joined the Royal Navy as a Warfare Officer in 1990 and has enjoyed a varied career including a two year exchange with the Netherlands’ Submarine Service. He was then appointed as Executive Officer of HMS Turbulent before commanding HMS Talent, followed by two years as Maritime Force Generator in the Operations Directorate of the Ministry of Defence. Captain Asquith took Command of HMS Portland in September 2014.

Captain Asquith said “My Ship’s Company and I are very much looking forward to bringing HMS Portland into Liverpool. We are pleased to be hosting a large number of invited guests throughout our visit and to strengthening our links with the local community”.

“Members of my ship’s company are very keen to take part in the football match at Liverpool Football Club Academy against the Veterans Team”.

“I am also delighted to be able to welcome members of the Model Boat convention on board and to accepting a cheque on behalf of the Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity”.

The Ship

HMS Portland was built on the Clyde and was launched by the Ship’s Sponsor, Lady Heather Brigstocke on 15 May 1999. HMS Portland was commissioned into the Royal Navy on 3 May 2001. The ship has many affiliations to the Portland area including The Earl of Portland, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and Portland Town Council as well as the Royal Navy Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) Weymouth Lifeboat and The Lifeboat College, Poole.

HMS Portland returned to Plymouth in August after a successful 7 month deployment conducting counter narcotic operations whilst working alongside the embarked American Coastguard team. Upon arrival in Plymouth the ships company were greeted by the sight of 600 families and friends waiting on the jetty to welcome her home.

Whilst away, she visited numerous countries in West Africa, in between carrying out anti-piracy patrols. After a maintenance period in South Africa, she continued her deployment to South Georgia then the Falkland Islands. Throughout the month in the Falklands, the Ship’s Company attended many ceremonies in remembrance of the landings for the 1982 conflict.

HMS Portland has recently completed a busy maintenance period followed by a visit to her namesake town of Portland during which she re-established links with her hometown.  

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