The Royal Navy vessel HMS Tamar visits Darwin this week (w/c May 30) after successful completion of a first deployment in the Indo-Asia Pacific as part of Britain’s permanent naval presence in the region. HMS Tamar visits the Northern Territory briefly for crew rotation, before continuing its permanent deployment in the region.

Over the course of their five-year deployment, HMS TAMAR and sister ship SPEY plan to work with allies and partners across the region and plan to visit countries from Australia to Japan, and Fiji to Singapore.

Since deploying in September 2021, Tamar and her sister ship Spey have travelled 25,000 nautical miles to Columbia, through the Panama Canal, transiting along the US West coast and into the region via Hawaii. Some of the highlights of Tamar’s operations include:

  • In January Tamar patrolled the East China Sea to conduct monitoring and surveillance against illicit maritime activities, including ship-to-ship transfers with North Korean-flagged vessels prohibited by the United Nations Security Council resolutions (UNSCRs). This activity served to ensure that commitments to demilitarization is adhered to in the Democratic people’s Republic of Korea and ensure Rules Based International Security is upheld.
  • In February Tamar took part in Exercise Bersama Shield with the Five Powers Defence Arrangements (FPDA) nations (UK, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand and Australia). This multi-national exercise which took place in Singapore and Malaysia included a range of exercises which demonstrated the interoperability and cooperative response of the five nations and their commitment to security in the region.
  • In March Tamar joined the Royal Brunei Navy Warship KDB DARULEHSAW for a passage exercise off Brunei, highlighting the continuation of relationship building in the region.

Highlights from HMS Spey’s operations include the following:

  • In January, the Ship came to the aid of the Tongan Government following the Hunga-Tonga volcanic eruption and tsunami, delivering humanitarian supplies and supporting repair work to communications infrastructure.
  • In February Spey deployed a medical team to deliver Covid booster vaccinations and dental treatment to the people of the Pitcairn Islands. The ship’s company also visited Fiji and Papua New Guinea, carrying out engagements with the military, government leaders and local communities.
  • Spey has also worked with regional partners to carry out environmental and hydrographic surveys as well as water sampling, contributing to studies on climate change. One of the greenest ships in the Royal Navy, Spey also carried out important Marine Bio-diversity taskings.
  • It has been an exciting time for the ship and crew where they have opened new relationships, strengthened others, delivered essential aid to countries in need and helped deter illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. The ship has worked with a number of maritime forces in the region including; the US Coast Guard, US Navy, Royal Australian Navy, Royal New Zealand Navy, Republic of Fiji Navy, Royal Brunei Navy and Indonesian Navy.

Alongside the Royal Navy, the British Army and Royal Air Force regularly conduct exercises and operations with partners and allies, underlining the UK’s joint commitment to security and stability in the Indo-Asia Pacific.

QUOTES

Lieutenant Commander Matt Millyard, Tamar’s executive officer, said:

The 90m-long patrol vessel has a pivotal role in tackling shared security challenges and developing relationships; we’re not a carrier, we’re not a massive warship or an intimidating force, we’re here as a force for good and a force for peace.

Lieutenant Gareth Senior, HMS SPEY Marine Engineering Officer, said:

This deployment has seen us travel to some amazing places, interacting with a whole host of new cultures. It has been a privilege to work alongside local communities, government organisations and military forces in the Pacific; we have learned a lot from each other, and I look forward to building on those relationships and working with our close partners again in the near future.

British High Commissioner to Australia Vicki Treadell, said:

We’re delighted to welcome Tamar to Australian shores this week, and the chance for the crew to take a well deserved rest following a truly immense deployment across the region. The visit of HMS Tamar in Darwin, and HMS Spey’s deployment in the region, underlines our permanent naval presence across the Indo-Pacific and speaks to the UK’s ongoing commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific in which sovereign states of all sizes are free from coercion.

SUMMARY

HMS Tamar is permanently deployed to the Indo-Pacific region alongside her sister ship HMS Spey. Working alongside partners and allies, the ship is helping tackle security challenges and support nations against the impacts of climate change.

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    HMS Tamar visits Darwin: Royal Navy ships complete first deployment of Indo-Pacific

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