Standing Royal Navy deployments

Standing Royal Navy deployments

Although the majority of the Royal Navy fleet, unless required, remains training and exercising in and around Home Waters, the Navy has a number of standing commitments, including those held for contingent operations, to provide ships for various missions around the world:

Fleet Flagship and R2 Carrier

The "Fleet Flagship" is an aircraft carrier held at not more than 48 hours notice to move, known as R2, whilst in UK. The remaining Aircraft Carrier may be undergoing maintenance, training or deployed.

Fleet Ready Escort (FRE)

This is a single warship maintained at high-readiness around the UK on short-notice standby for deployment anywhere in the world. The FRE destroyer or frigate has rapidly deployed for counter-narcotics operations as far away as the coast of Spain, embargo operations in the Adriatic Sea and short-duration training in the Caribbean, Africa and the Mediterranean.

Mine Countermeasures Force (MCMFOR)

MCMFOR (Group 1) is a standing commitment to NATO to provide a Mine Countermeasures vessel to the Baltic, Northern Europe and Atlantic areas.

Fishery Protection Squadron

The Fishery Protection Squadron protects both the United Kingdom fishing fleet and the oil and gas fields in the British areas of the North Sea.

Atlantic Patrol Task (North)

(Formerly known as the "West Indies Guard Ship") [ cite web|url= |accessdate=2008-09-05 ] This is the United Kingdom's contribution to the North Atlantic and Caribbean areas, intended to protect British interests in the region. The deployment supports counter narcotics role and can provide humanitarian assistance where required; following the regular hurricanes and tropical storms. The Atlantic Patrol Task (North) is normally carried out by a single warship and/or RFA vessel during the hurricane season from May to November. Beginning in 2007 both a warship and a RFA vessel will be on-station 12 months each year. []

NATO Response Force

The UK normally deploys a Vanguard class submarine SSBN, maintaining the British nuclear deterrent, and provides a single warship to the NATO Response Force (NRF), part of the Standing NRF Maritime Group 1 in the Atlantic and Standing NRF Maritime Group 2 in the Mediterranean.

Atlantic Patrol Task (South)

This deployment provides a British presence in the South Atlantic and West Africa and is comprised of single warship accompanied by an RFA vessel. The patrol is tasked with maintaining the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia, and supporting the British forces in the South Atlantic.


The Armilla Patrol was established to ensure the safety of British shipping in the Persian Gulf and is also responsible for maintaining a British presence in the region. A single warship and supporting RFA vessels are on-station as part of Operation Oracle another aspect of the UK's contribution to the War on Terror. The vessels are at-notice for deployments anywhere East-of-Suez.

Though the permanent RN presence in the Far East and Pacific regions has ended, the RN regularly deploys a significant Naval Task Group (NTG) for task specific operations or as part of the Five Powers Defence Arrangements (FPDA). The latest deployment is under the banner of 'Orion 08,' with Task Group 328.01 being led by HMS Illustrious. [Richard Scott, 'ASW Resurfaces,' Jane's Defence Weekly, Volume 45, Issue 24, 11 June 2008, p.25]

Falkland Islands Patrol Task

The Falkland Islands patrol ship is an Offshore Patrol Vessel that is permanently stationed around the islands, as part of the naval element of British forces in the South Atlantic. The Royal Navy's Ice Patrol Ship is deployed to the South Atlantic and the British Antarctic Territory.


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