Royal Navy frigate HMS Argyll has been flying the flag for British industry in a four-day visit to the German maritime city of Hamburg in support of UK Trade and Investment (UKTI).
The ship was invited to Hamburg to enhance UK participation in the city’s prestigious Shipbuilding, Machinery and Marine Technology International Trade Fair, an event providing companies from around the globe with the chance to showcase their capabilities and seek fresh investment.
Commander Tim Neild, Argyll’s Commanding Officer, said:
I am delighted to have showcased HMS Argyll and the Royal Navy as the backdrop to this high profile event. It is a rare privilege to be able to reinforce the ‘Great’ in Great Britain whilst fostering strong business relations by hosting a number of key events on board before getting back to operations.
With many UK-based companies in attendance it was also an ideal time to reinforce the ‘Great’ Britain campaign which was launched by Prime Minister David Cameron earlier this year to promote UK sport, nature and innovation whilst maximising the economic potential of UK industry overseas.
On arrival the ship hosted a high-profile dinner for 18 of Germany’s principal business leaders alongside Consul-General Malcolm Scott and representatives from UKTI.
The centrepiece of the visit was the official reception held on board when HMS Argyll, as the first Royal Navy ship to bear the logo of the ‘Great’ Britain campaign, hosted the newly-appointed British Minister for Business and Enterprise, Michael Fallon, and the British Ambassador to Germany, Simon McDonald, amongst a large number of other distinguished business and diplomatic guests.
Guests were treated to a Beating Retreat parade by the Band of the Royal Logistic Corps, the ship’s guard took the salute, and a ceremonial sunset was conducted in front of a hugely impressed audience.
HMS Argyll also opened its gangway to the public with visitors being given a tour of the ship and a first-hand insight into the array of capabilities of a Royal Navy frigate. In addition, the ship’s rugby and football teams successfully tested their skills against local opposition.
Commander Neild said:
The visit to Hamburg has been a resounding success and has been a superb opportunity to promote the economic prosperity of the UK. As we sail for home waters we will now change focus to ensure that Argyll is ready in all respects for a successful deployment in 2013.
The visit to Hamburg brings to an end an extremely busy summer for the longest-serving Type 23 frigate in the Royal Navy which included acting as flagship for the Armed Forces Day National Event in Plymouth, hosting thousands of visitors in Zeebrugge for Belgium’s Navy Days, and conducting training with future Royal Navy and international navies’ navigating officers.
As the ship sailed from Hamburg, with their business mission complete the crew was looking forward to completing a busy period at sea undertaking trials and preparing for an intensive period of training in the autumn under the guidance of Flag Officer Sea Training and his staff before any future operations.