The Ship's band
The Paviors' affiliated frigate, HMS ARGYLL, returned home to her base port of Plymouth at the end of November following a 6 month Gulf deployment. During the deployment ARGYLL operated in the Northern Arabian Gulf with ships from the US, Australian, Canadian and Japanese navies enforcing UN Security Council Resolutions in the area. In 60 days of boarding operations, ARGYLL had queried 150 ships and boarded 113 vessels of all sizes from large container carriers to small cargo dhows and discovered more than 10,500 tonnes of smuggled oil, worth more than £1.25 million which would have been bound for Saddam Hussein's regime.
However ARGYLL's time was not permanently spent at sea as she had another task of equal importance, in promoting the British diplomatic mission throughout the Gulf. To achieve this ARGYLL was able to visit a number of friendly nations, including Kuwait, Qatar and several of the states forming the United Arab Emirates.
Argyll making a replenishment at sea approach in the North Arabian Gulf
Having handed over to HMS Cardiff the trip back to the UK gave a chance for some well-earned relaxation. The Ship's New PA system, brought last year by the welfare fund, was put to good use for a number of flightdeck entertainments. Events included a Ship's Concert where Argyll's very own band 'Dirty Sanchez' performed and a charity auction, which raised over £3000 for the Argyll Ward at Derriford hospital. Best-selling items included the 'hire' of the Captain's Cabin and perks for a day and the chance to 'Gunk' the Master at Arms.
A busy start to the New Year saw Commander Kingwell hand over command to Commander Kelbie, and after an too brief maintenance period, Argyll is now back at sea. Her current tasking involves carrying out a variety of training and exercises whilst standing by as the Fleet's High Readiness Patrol Ship.