HMS Spey, an offshore patrol vessel, is on a five-year operation to the Indo-Pacific region alongside her sister ship HMS Tamar. Working alongside partners and allies the ship is helping tackle security challenges and support nations against the impacts of climate change.
The ship has recently conducted patrols to combat illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing in the region. It has also carried out environmental surveys and delivered humanitarian aid.
British High Commissioner to Fiji, Dr. Brian Jones said:
Building strong, enduring partnerships with Pacific Island Countries is at the heart of the UK’s mission here. We’re focused on the problems you face – climate change, ocean protection and security challenges, HMS Spey calling here is an opportunity to work ever closer with our Pacific maritime partners, cooperate even more closely and to renew acquaintances between our Navies.
Whilst visiting Fiji, the sailors onboard HMS Spey will be involved in several community engagements, planned with the Republic of Fiji Navy:
- Officers from the ship will pay courtesy calls on Republic of Fiji Military Forces counterparts. They will also attend a medals ceremony for Fijians who have graduated from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth
- there will be a visit to Nakelo to mark the strong links between the village and the Royal Navy, alongside community engagement in the Suva area
- a female officer will present to the Women Entrepreneurs Business Council, while the ship’s doctor will lead a discussion on mental health at Albert Park Hall
- staff from the National Disaster Management Office and the Ministry of Fisheries will visit the ship. They will learn about the ship’s ability to combat illegal fishing and provide humanitarian relief
- several sporting activities are also being planned between the ship’s company and members of the Republic of Fiji Navy
HMS Spey’s Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Macnae said:
All of the Ship’s Company are thrilled to be here in Fiji. We are grateful for the very warm welcome that has been extended by Republic of Fiji Military Forces and look forward to working with them in the coming days and building links with our counterparts in the Republic of Fiji Navy. The crew will also be celebrating the links between the United Kingdom and Fiji, noting that at there are a number of Fijian-born sailors in the Royal Navy, including a member of Spey’s crew.
Commissioned in 2021, it is the greenest Royal Navy ship thanks to its urea filter which reduces nitrogen oxide emissions from the diesel generators by about 90%.
The mission so far has seen the ship visit Hawaii, French Polynesia, Tonga and Pitcairn. It has also worked with Pacific Island Countries including Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands and Niue whilst transiting their waters. Earlier this year, HMS Spey visited Tonga following the Hunga-Tonga volcanic eruption and tsunami, delivering humanitarian supplies and supporting repair work to communications infrastructure.
HMS Spey is expected to depart Fiji later this month.