HMS MONTROSE’S commanding officer, Commander Jonathan Lett, was given a rousing send-off when he left the ship for the last time to take up a new post at the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
Commander Lett, who has had charge of the Type 23 frigate for the last 32 months, handed over command of the vessel last week to Commander James Parkin during a ceremony at Montrose’s home port, HM Naval Base Devenport.
After Commander Parkin addressed the crew on board ship, Commander Lett was driven off amid cheers at the quayside in an AC Cobra sports car driven by his former chief stoker.
Commander Lett is moving to the MoD to work on the procurement of the Type 26 frigate which will eventually replace Type 23 frigates such as HMS Montrose.
During his own address to the ship’s company, he praised the crew for their dedicated service and loyalty.
He said: “I am extremely proud to be commanding a ship with such a good reputation throughout the Royal Navy and to be leading a crew of proven ability.
“HMS Montrose’s performance is entirely reliant on the quality of its sailors and the importance of ensuring the quality of life and support for those sailors is paramount.”
During a recent whistle-stop tour of Angus, following HMS Montrose’s return from a six-month deployment in the South Atlantic, Commander Lett also praised the strong links with the Montrose community as well as its interest in and support of the ship and its crew.
Following a maintenance period in port, the ship was back on official duties at the end of last week when it was the escort for part the last leg of HM the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee voyage around the country and met the royal party’s yacht west of the Isle of Wight to accompany it on a sail past Cowes harbour.