Britannia may no longer rules the waves but Britain should be very proud of its Royal Navy. On Wednesday night I had the pleasure of going aboard the Royal Navy frigate HMS Argyll which is moored at the Dique del Oeste in Palma. Now, the Type 23 frigate has been away for the last six months in the Persian Gulf and obviously the crew just want to get home. But the welcome on board was warm and professional and the frigate could very easily have taken part in a Fleet review, she looked superb. The Argyll is not a new ship but you got the impression that she is lovingly maintained by a dedicated crew. I was talking to one of the helicopter pilots who told me that this summer he would be on duty helping provide security for the Olympics and then it was off to the South Atlantic. Now, I know the old recruiting poster for the Navy said “Join the Navy and see the World,” but Britain is certainly getting the most out of its small Navy and crews with operational commitments across the globe. The Royal Navy is involved in operations from the Gulf to the South Atlantic along with its regular commitments in Norway, the Caribbean and the Far East. It is a tall order for a Navy which now just has 19 frigates and destroyers. But I suspect that you could add even more commitments and the Royal Navy would just find a way of carrying them out with limited resources. This is why the Royal Navy is admired by all navies across the globe.

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