Royal Navy war ship to visit Colombo

[TamilNet, Friday, 29 July 2005, 08:31 GMT]
Royal Navy Warship HMS YORK and her accompanying Royal Fleet Auxiliary support ship BLACK ROVER are due to arrive alongside Colombo, Sri Lanka on 5 August. The ships will visit for three days before heading further east as part of a Royal Naval deployment called VOLANS 05, said a press release of the British High Commission issued Friday.

"The visit of HMS YORK is a symbol of the good relations between the UK and Sri Lanka and the strong links between our two Navies. Immediately after the tsunami, a Royal Naval ship, HMS Chatham, and a Royal Fleet Auxiliary, RFA Diligence visited Sri Lanka and helped provide relief to those affected by the tragedy, principally off the East coast near Batticaloa. The visit of HMS York will provide an opportunity to build on the goodwill generated by their work," said Mr. Stephen Evans, British High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, the press release quoted.

HMS YORK'S Commanding Officer, Commander Matt Harvey, Royal Navy said: "HMS YORK is both delighted and very privileged to be visiting Colombo. The visit follows a recent 4-week period at sea and my Ship's company has been looking forward to it immensely. For many of my sailors this is their first trip away from home and we all feel tremendously lucky to have the opportunity to sample and enjoy the Sri Lankan way of life," the press release added.

During the visit Commander Harvey will meet senior officers from the Sri Lankan armed forces and the Mayor of Colombo. Members of the crews will visit sights around Colombo and will play football, rugby and hockey matches against Sri Lankan Navy teams, the release said.

HMS YORK is a Type 42 Destroyer. These form the backbone of the Royal Navy's anti-air capability. In addition to their role as air defense platforms these ships operate independently carrying out patrol and boarding operations. They have in recent years enforced United Nations embargoes in the Gulf and the Adriatic as well as providing humanitarian assistance in Monserrat and East Timor, said in the press release.

HMS YORK, which is based in Portsmouth, England, left the UK on 20 June 05. The Destroyer is currently on a 20-week deployment and will not return home until early November. As well as coalition operational tasking in the Middle East, the ships will participate in a multi-national exercise, BRESAMA LIMA, off the coast of Malaysia as the UK's component of the Five Powers Defense Arrangement, said the press release.

RFA Black Rover is a Fleet Tanker belonging to the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Service. These ships support Royal Navy warships including through the underway replenishment of fuel, the press release said in conclusion.


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