“HMS Northumberland’s sailors spent Christmas away from home as they continued their vital mission protecting UK waters and the nation’s nuclear deterrent. The Type 23 frigate was last at her home port of Devonport in late September and since then has been part of the UK Carrier Strike group during landmark operations in the North Sea and monitored Russian activity close to UK waters during her relentless patrols of the waters around Britain. In all, Northumberland had sailed more than 8,000 miles since leaving home [up to January 2021], even before Christmas at sea. The frigate and her ship’s company carried out operations over the festive period protecting the UK’s home waters, all with rigorous Covid-19 restrictions in place which ultimately mean nobody on board can go any further than the jetty when they come alongside between operations. Northumberland has stopped in Dundee, Lerwick and Faslane, but each time sailors have remained in a protective bubble, straying no further than their allocated jetty, to ensure the virus does not risk their vital operations.” (Navy News, 2021, p.7).
Between September 2020 and January 2021, the Type 23 frigate has used/needed:
- 700 tonnes of diesel fuel, with the ship getting through one gallon every 128 yards.
- 190 meals needing to be prepared three times a day seven days a week.
- Given the strict restrictions to protect the ship’s company from Covid-19, almost every meal eaten is served on board by the galley team.
- 8,000 sausages, along with 9,000 eggs, 750kg of cheese, 10,000kg of potatoes and 2,000kg of flour.
Navy News. (2021) Nort on a Mission. Navy News. January 2021, pp.7.