Ship crew celebrates links with town and county

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THE COMMANDING officer of Montrose’s adopted ship has praised the support his crew received during a recent deployment to the Gulf of Aden.

HMS Montrose spent five months in the gulf and the Indian Ocean as part of the NATO-led Operation Ocean Shield, tackling Somali pirates attacking merchant shipping in the region.

During an action-packed deployment, the frigate mounted successful actions including destroying pirate whalers and freeing the crew of the freighter Beluga Fortune after a pirate attack.

The ship returned to its home port of Plymouth in December.

Commanding officer Commander Jonathan Letts conducted a whistle-stop tour of Angus last week with seven crew members of all ranks to visit some of the local organisations with links to the ship including Rosemount Primary School, Dorward House and Montrose Academy.

They also presented cheques of £500 each to Dorward House and the Angus branch of Riding for the Disabled.

Commander Letts said: “We came back from Somalia in December and this is my second visit to Angus. We’re really keen to keep those links going and we had fantastic links with Rosemount Primary School while we were away, and Dorward House.

“Everywhere I stopped from Gibraltar, Malta and Tanzania to the Seychelles I sent postcards back to the school and Dorward House to keep those links going.

“We’re a Plymouth-based ship. It’s quite difficult to get it up to Montrose but if I can’t bring the ship up here it’s not going to stop me because we want to give something back to the Angus community for the support they give us.

“There’s a real sense of pride, not only among my ship’s company, of the Montrose name and there’s a real team spirit.”