Success for the Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron

Success for the Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron

THE ROYAL Navy Gibraltar Squadron (RNGS) has recently been announced as the winner of the 2017 Rear Admiral Surface Ships Effectiveness Trophy for Inshore Patrol Vessels. 

The trophy is awarded annually across the Surface Flotilla for outstanding performance throughout the year with recipients being selected by Rear Admiral Surface Ships, Rear Admiral Paul Bennett. If the honour of being named best in their category were not enough, the ships of Gibraltar Squadron are now entitled to fly the Surface Effectiveness Pennant at sea and alongside. The announcement comes before a formal presentation of the trophy to the Squadron later in the year.

2016 saw RNGS finishing the year as runners up from a field of 18 ships in the category and the last time the Squadron won the trophy was 2014.

Lieutenant Commander James Myhill, the Squadron’s Commanding Officer said: “Finishing 2016 as runners up was exciting enough, but nothing compares to winning the trophy in 2017. I am incredibly proud of the small band of sailors and marines that I have the privilege to command and thank them for their hard work and commitment that have justifiably been rewarded by winning the Effectiveness Trophy .”

As well as inshore patrol vessels, trophies are awarded across the surface flotilla for engineering excellence and performance in various warfare disciplines including anti-submarine operations and anti-surface gunnery. RNGS proudly ranks alongside other winners this year who have recently used Gibraltar as a forward base for their operations; these include HMS OCEAN and her humanitarian work in the Caribbean and HMS DUNCAN who was deployed to the Mediterranean as flagship for the NATO task-group.

Routine tasks for the Squadron include the demonstration of UK sovereignty around the waters of Gibraltar and the provision of maritime security and force protection of visiting military units. In amongst the year’s busy operational programme, RNGS also found time to raise £1000 for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity by battling through a daunting 6.8 nautical mile swim around the Rock of Gibraltar.

The ships have also deployed away from home waters twice: firstly to Portimao in Portugal to conduct wider regional engagement with the Portuguese Navy and more recently to Tangier in Morocco to support Remembrance Sunday services.

Like many of their Service colleagues, RNGS has remained on duty 24/7 over the Christmas and New Year period, poised to respond to any incident at sea and the sailors and marines hope to continue their performance and high profile success from 2017 into the New Year.