HMS SCIMITAR has recently returned to The Rock after conducting out of area exercises
with the Portuguese Navy.

There are very few opportunities for either HMS SCIMITAR or her sister ship HMS SABRE
to stray too far from Gibraltar but SCIMITAR, one of the two smallest ships in the Royal
Navy, made the nearly 200 nautical mile passage to the Algarve region of Portugal, making
stops at the Naval Base in Portimao and the town of Vilamoura.

The ship met up with Centauro-class patrol boat NRP Pegaso (P1157) off Portimao to
conduct a number of training exercises, including officer of the watch manoeuvres, a
PASSEX and the obligatory PHOTEX. Pegaso’s main role is to conduct fishery protection
duties around the Portuguese coast, extending as far as the Madeira archipelago. HMS
SCIMITAR’s Commanding Officer, Lt Tom Loxton RN said: “This has been an incredible
opportunity; not only to plan and execute an almost 400 nautical mile return passage in
demanding sea conditions, but also to conduct valuable maritime training with a NATO
partner.”

HM Ships SCIMITAR and SABRE make up the core of the Royal Navy’s Gibraltar Squadron
and are usually spotted conducting sovereignty patrols of British Gibraltar Territorial Waters or escorting military units in and out of the British Overseas Territory. Of the change in scenery, the Squadron’s Executive Officer, CPO ‘Red’ Jones said: “The chance for the Squadron’s sailors to explore somewhere new was certainly something that won’t be
forgotten in a hurry!”

Image Courtesy of the Ministry of Defence

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