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An exercise with the Portuguese Navy? Algarve it a go!

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Gibraltar, International, Overseas Bases

One of the two Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron (RNGS) patrol vessels has completed her maiden over the horizon deployment to Portugal to take part in Exercise ALLGARVEX-24.

RNGS conducting deployment to Portugal

After a slightly bumpy transit through the Strait of Gibraltar, HMS CUTLASS (CTLS) arrived in Portimão to partake in two days of competitive but good-natured training. Portuguese Naval Vessels NRP CASSIOPEIA and NRP HIDRA worked alongside CTLS, as well as boarding exercises with a Portuguese marine team. The training included simulated Fast Inshore Attack Craft attacks, Officer of the Watch Manoeuvres, towing, Man Overboard recovery drills and Gunnery.

RNGS conducting deployment to Portugal

The exercise is a huge milestone for the Cutlass-class Royal Navy Patrol Launch (RNPL), which typically patrols British Gibraltar Territorial Waters (BGTW), operating an immediate readiness profile 365 days a year, and builds upon last May’s successful visit to Tangier, Morocco.

The Commanding Officer of HMS CUTLASS said: “The Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron used to visit Portugal frequently, but due to COVID-19 and the work getting the Cutlass-class to full operational capability, we haven’t visited the region since 2018 in HMS SCIMITAR.

The deployment has been very important for the Squadron to prove the range of the Cutlass-class whilst also visiting somewhere different and working alongside our friends in the Portuguese Navy.

RNGS conducting deployment to Portugal

It was fantastic to share tactics and procedures with a fellow NATO ally by training together; our hosts from the Southern Maritime Zone Command could not have been more welcoming and we very much look forward to returning in the future.”

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