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HMS Montrose visits affiliated hometown for final time – BBC


A Royal Navy warship has returned to its affiliated hometown of Montrose for the final time before decommissioning.
HMS Montrose arrived at the Angus port at the weekend after spending the last four years in the Middle East.
During that time, the Type 23 Duke Class Frigate made record-breaking drug busts and intercepted advanced weaponry being smuggled to terrorist groups.
The ship will set sail for the final time on Tuesday towards Portsmouth for decommissioning in April.
More than 5,000 visitors flocked to Montrose port to be shown around the interior of the warship over the weekend.
HMS Montrose Commanding Officer Claire Thompson said she was humbled to bring the ship back to the coastal town.
"To have such a close affiliation with a town has been really special," she said. "In the last 30 years of service (HMS) Montrose has only managed to come into Montrose six times.
"Because we've been really busy on operations, because we can only get in here at certain states of the tide.
"But to know we're going into a decommissioning programme now and the very final port call that this ship will make is into Montrose is really special and has been really well supported by the community."
In early 2022, HMS Montrose seized weapons from speedboats being operated by smugglers in waters south of Iran.
The operation intercepted surface-to-air missiles and engines for land attack cruise missiles.
The seizures took place in the early hours of 28 January and 25 February after the ship's Wildcat helicopter spotted small vessels moving at speed on the radar.
A team of Royal Marines approached the smugglers on inflatable boats and searched the vessels where they secured the illegal cargo.
About 180 crew called HMS Montrose home when it was on deployment in the Middle East.
One of those crew members was Paul Linford, Leading Seaman Above Water (Tactical), from Montrose.
His friends and family came down to the port to welcome the ship home.
Commissioned in 1992, HMS Montrose recently celebrated its 30th anniversary.
Brigadier Andy Muddiman, Naval Regional Commander for Scotland and Northern Ireland, believes the ship will be missed by those who sailed on it.
"I think there's something like six or seven former ship's captains and several hundred times that many former members of the ships company who are either still serving or have retired from the navy," he said.
"(They) will look back with a tear in their eye that this ship that's meant an awful lot to them is going to be part of navy history rather than part of navy future."
Images by Kris Miller/BBC Scotland.
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