By Humphrey Carter

HMS Lancaster (F229), a ‘Duke' Class Type 23 frigate, docked in Palma for a brief visit yesterday.
HMS Lancaster is the fourth of the Type 23 frigates.
She was launched by Her Majesty The Queen in her official role as Duke of Lancaster in May 1990, and was commissioned two years later.
The Portsmouth-based warship is returning to the UK after a seven-month deployment to conduct maritime security operations in the Middle East, supporting international efforts to counter illegal activity in the wider region.

Having sailed from Dubai on 21 February, HMS Lancaster has more recently carried out a 6-week patrol in support of Maritime Security Operations in the Middle East.

Operating as part of Combined Task Force 151, HMS Lancaster spent 10 days in the region contributing to international efforts to detect, disrupt and deter pirate activity.

Thereafter, the Ship took part in a focused operation in the Gulf of Oman led by Combined Task Force 150 aimed at combating maritime crime.
In the course of these operations, the ship conducted several boardings of vessels suspected of being in breach of international law.
At the same time, the ship's Boarding Teams visited fishermen and merchant men to provide assurance of Coalition efforts to combat criminal activity in the region.

On 18 March, HMS Lancaster was honoured to receive a visit by Admiral Sir Trevor Soar KCB OBE, the Commander-in-Chief Fleet. As part of a wider tour of the region, Admiral Soar was keen to visit the ship and witness HMS Lancaster's contribution to maritime operations.

In the course of the visit, Admiral Soar met several members of the Ship's Company, including the embarked Royal Marines Boarding Team.
As a boost to morale, he also presented the ship with the prized “Rock Race Trophy”, recognising the achievement of the ship's Company in posting the fastest time by any ship in the past 12 months for the completion of the Gibraltar Rock Race.

During her deployment, the ship has also conducted operations in the Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and the Red Sea to help provide security and stability in the area.

Since leaving the UK at the very end of October HMS Lancaster has visited a number of ports including Gibraltar, Souda in Crete, Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, Salalah and Muscat in Oman, and Dubai in the UAE.

Her Commander R J L Bryan , was born in Helensburgh, Scotland in 1969. He was brought up in the Portsmouth area and educated at Lancing College. He joined the Royal Navy in September 1987 and after his Fleet Training at Britannia Royal Naval College and at sea, he was selected for a BA Degree in Maritime Defence Management and Technology, run at the Royal Naval Engineering College, Manadon. His early warfare appointments included HMS Ledbury and York. In addition he spent a fascinating 3 years with the Federal German Navy as an Officer of the Watch and Navigator of the ships Köln and Lübeck.

Selected for Principal Warfare Officer's (PWO) course in 1999, Rory Bryan qualified as a PWO(Underwater) in 2000. His subsequent appointment was as the PWO(U) and Ops Officer of HMS Iron Duke, an assignment that included a deployment to West Africa during the civil war in Sierra Leone. He then worked for the Flag Officer Sea Training, based in Devonport, where he was one of the Under Water Warfare Seariders providing training to RN and several other nations' Warships. In addition he headed up the Towed Array Reaction Team, a small group of specialists charged with maintaining the passive ASW skills in the surface Fleet. A short tour in the Permanent Joint Headquarters followed, where he was the desk officer responsible for the Joint Operating base in Gibraltar. In 2003 Rory Bryan was selected to be the first commanding officer of HMS Mersey, a River Class Patrol Vessel mainly engaged in fishery protection tasking. He then moved to work for the Director of Naval Career Management as the ‘appointer' for PWO(U)s and PWO(C)s. Selected for promotion in May 2007, he completed a short tour in the Ministry of Defence, in the Directorate General Media and Communications press office. He took command of HMS Lancaster in May 2008.