HMS Kent concludes cold weather training in the artic

Pictured: HMS Kent meets with USNS Supply, USS Porter, Cook and Roosevelt during a photographic exercise (PHOTEX) in the Arctic Circle. HMS KENT CONDUCTS PHOTOGRAPHIC EXERCISE WITH THE US NAVY On Tuesday 5th May 2020, HMS Kent met with the US Navy Task Group in the Arctic Circle whilst on exercises to conduct sailing formations and manoeuvres. The formation sailing enabled media photographers from both Navies to conduct what is known in their trade as a photographic exercise (PHOTEX). Whilst in the Arctic Circle both navies have honed their skills in war fighting in extreme cold conditions whilst practicing close proximity sailing and refuelling at sea. HMS Kent will continue exercising with the US Navy before returning to her home port for a period of maintenance. Credit: LPhot Dan Rosenbaum, HMS Kent

HMS Kent left the Barents Sea on 8 May after seven days of cold-weather operations in the icy waters of the Arctic Circle.

While many in the Armed Forces rightly continue to focus on supporting the national response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the ship’s company of HMS Kent have contributed to the Royal Navy’s commitment to global operations and ensuring we are prepared for future threats.

The ship has been working as part of a combined US and UK task group, practising further integration with our allies and proving her ability to operate at sea in sub-zero temperatures hundreds of miles inside the Arctic Circle.

More than 1,200 military personnel from the UK and US have been involved – conducting key training in support of the UK’s Defence, while the UK Armed Forces continue support to the NHS and others in the fight against COVID-19.

Rear Admiral Simon Asquith, the Royal Navy’s Commander Operations, said: “While sailors and marines in the UK support the national effort against COVID-19, the ship’s company of HMS Kent are hard at work ensuring that the Royal Navy remains capable of operating in the most challenging environments fundamental to the UK’s vital interests.

“The rules-based international system enables freedom on the high seas for all nations.  The Arctic exemplifies this and is an area for cooperation on numerous issues, including security and trade.”

Commander Matt Sykes, the Commanding Officer of HMS Kent, said: “It has been rewarding to work in this part of the world and it is vitally important that the UK should take a strong interest in maintain stability and security in the region. 

“Over the last week we have enhanced our ability to work with our US allies while also demonstrating the Royal Navy’s ability to operate in the region, now and in the future.”

The ship has been working alongside destroyers USS Donald Cook, USS Porter and the USS Roosevelt as well as fast combat support ship USNS Supply. 

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