HMS Liverpool hard at work to support UN resolutions off Libya
The Royal Navy destroyer HMS Liverpool is working tirelessly to protect Libya’s civilian population under threat of attack from Colonel Gadaffi’s forces. During the past week the Ship has played a key role in Operation Unified Protector as a member of the NATO Task Group.
Alongside RAF counterparts, HMS Liverpool has controlled allied aircraft from the sea using her first-class air surveillance technology. She also conducted boarding operations as part of the Embargo task.
For a period of operations this week HMS Liverpool controlled alliance aircraft in the western region over Libya. The ship’s Fighter Controllers worked with coalition F18 fighter jets and tanker support aircraft, as well as Maritime Patrol Aircraft. Liverpool’s support ensured continuous control of the No Fly Zone.
Tasked with enforcing embargo operations along the Libyan coast, HMS Liverpool has intercepted several vessels under UN Security Council Resolution 1973. In one interception, the ship used its highly trained boarding team to board the roll-on, roll-off ferry Setubal Express which was sailing from Valetta, Malta toward Tripoli, Libya with a cargo of vehicles which prompted the suspicion that they could be used by pro-Gaddafi factions.
The team boarded the ship and discovered during the search that the cargo record book contained irregularities. As a result, the Task Force commander instructed the ship not to enter Libyan territorial waters, but to redirect to the next port of call in Salerno, Italy.
Commander Colin Williams, Liverpool’s Commanding Officer, said: "I’m immensely proud of my Ship’s Company for the way they have dealt with the challenges they have faced so far. HMS Liverpool is protecting the civilian population of Libya through enforcement of the no-fly zone and the maritime embargo, showing the value of maritime forces and the skill of the Royal Navy."
HMS Liverpool left Portsmouth at the end of March to relieve the Type 22 frigate HMS Cumberland on 8 April.