Royal Navy HMS Enterprise, during the International Fleet Review for Trafalgar 200, 27 June 2005, by Geoff Parsell (Crown Copyright) [800px]

HMS Enterprise Home After Three Years on Operations

HMS Enterprise Returns Home to HMNB Devonport

During her time away she helped to stop people smuggling across the globe, saved thousands of lives at sea, and protected Britain’s interests.

Minister of State for the Armed Forces Mike Penning said:

During her three years deployed away from the UK, HMS Enterprise and her ship’s company have helped make the world a safer place.

From disrupting people smuggling in the Mediterranean to assisting in the free flow of trade in the Gulf, and from providing reassurance to our overseas territories to surveying the world’s oceans, she has epitomised how the Royal Navy is protecting the UK’s global interests.

In almost three years she has steamed 150,000 nautical miles, visited 20 countries, and navigated four of the seven seas.

Royal Navy HMS Enterprise returns to HMNB Devonport, 18 April 2017, by LPhot Caroline Davies (Crown Copyright)

Royal Navy HMS Enterprise returns to HMNB Devonport, 18 April 2017: LH Payne with his twins Summer and Amelia, by LPhot Caroline Davies (Crown Copyright)

HMS Enterprise’s Epic Deployment

HMS Enterprise’s epic deployment began in June 2014, when she headed to the Mediterranean on a routine deployment. At the time, growing unrest in Libya led to the UK government encouraging British citizens to evacuate, and Enterprise was tasked with rescuing more than 200 people from Libya.

She was then tasked with conducting survey operations in the Gulf and southern Red Sea, joining the continuous Royal Navy presence in the region which works to secure some of the most vital shipping lanes in the world and protect Britain’s economy.

It was during this time that teams from the ship volunteered to visit an orphanage in India, helping to refurbish several classrooms, build some swings and even fix a trampoline.

Operation Sophia

Enterprise later moved to the Mediterranean where she joined the naval force set up to deal with people smuggling. Over the course of the following year, the sailors on board destroyed over 100 unseaworthy craft and rescued over 9000 people. As a result she was awarded the Firmin Sword of Peace, the Naval Capability Prize and the HM Efficiency Award, as well as receiving a personal commendation from the Chief of the Defence Staff.

PO Everson accepts the Firmin Sword from Minister for the Armed Forces Mike Penning

PO Everson accepts the Firmin Sword from Minister for the Armed Forces Mike Penning. Photo: Cpl Tim Hammond (Crown Copyright).

The Firmin Sword of Peace (previously known as the Wilkinson Sword of Peace) is an award given to units of the British Armed Forces for activities above and beyond the unit’s normal role that improve relations with the community, either within the United Kingdom, or overseas. Firmin & Sons, one of the oldest established companies in the world, have sponsored the award since 2005. Previous receipients have included the British Army’s 15 (UK) Psychological Operations Group (now part of 77th Brigade).

Philip Harper, Commanding Officer of HMS Enterprise, said at the time:

After two and a half years deployed away from the UK, and with another four months yet to run, my ship’s company are very proud to have received the Firmin Sword of Peace for their lifesaving efforts.

This award recognises not only the commitment of my sailors, but also the sacrifices made and separation endured by their families.

Following the heat of the Mediterranean Enterprise was re-tasked to the South Atlantic to stand in for Falkland Islands patrol vessel HMS Clyde during her refit in South Africa.

The ship, and her crew of 78 sailors, returned to Devonport today for the warmest of welcomes from friends and families. Commander Philip Harper, Commanding Officer of HMS Enterprise said;

The crew of HMS Enterprise are justly proud of the work they have done since deploying, and the wide variety of operations will be hard to match in the rest of our careers.

At the same time, we are all really looking forward to coming home. The results of our deployment speak for themselves and we are all eager to spend some time with our families before the ship deploys again later this year.

HMS Enterprise, the tenth ship to bear this name, is a multi-role survey vessel – hydrographic oceanographic (SVHO) of the Royal Navy. She has a sister ship, HMS Echo, and together they make up the Echo class of survey vessels. Built by Appledore Shipbuilders under the prime contractor Vosper Thornycroft, HMS Enterprise was launched on 27 April 2002, officially named by the ship’s sponsor, Lady Sally Forbes, at her naming ceremony on 2 May 2002, and commissioned on 18 October 2003.

Source: MOD (Crown Copyright, OGL)

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