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Her Majesty’s Naval Base (HMNB) Devonport, England

July 24th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Her Majesty's Naval Base (HMNB) Devonport (HMS Drake), is one of three operating bases for the Royal Navy (the others being HMNB Clyde and HMNB Portsmouth). HMNB Devonport is located in Devonport, in the west of the city of Plymouth in Devon. It is the largest naval base in Western Europe and is the sole nuclear repair and refuelling facility for the Royal Navy. The adjacent Royal Dockyard is owned and operated by Devonport Management Limited (DML) and is commonly called Devonport Dockyard.

In 2006 the Ministry of Defence announced that a review would be undertaken to examine the future of the three Naval Bases. The Naval Base Review is seeking to examine the long term future needs of the Royal Navy, with the most likely outcome being either retaining the three current Naval Bases, but with reduced capacity in each, or closing one of the two on the south coast of England.

In 1676, Plymouth was visited by Charles II looking to select a new location for a naval dockyard. After considering Turnchapel on the River Plym, he opted for Devonport due to its geographical advantages. Work began in 1691 and from then until the end of the Second World War the dockyards were the economic backbone of the city.

With 14 dry docks (Docks Numbered 1 to 15, but there is no 13 Dock) , four miles (6km) of waterfront, 25 tidal berths, five basins and an area of 650 acres (2.6 km²) the Royal Navy Dockyard is the largest naval base in Western Europe and is the base for seven of the Trafalgar class nuclear powered hunter killer submarines and the main refitting base for all Royal Navy nuclear submarines. Work was completed by Carillion in 2002 to build a refitting dock to support the Vanguard class Trident missile nuclear ballistic missile submarines.

Locals and tourists have long been able to visit the Dockyard during Navy Days, a three day event where visitors can tour the facility, go on active naval ships and watch various displays of naval prowess. Among the most popular attractions is the nuclear powered submarine HMS Courageous, used in the Falklands War.

Devonport serves as headquarters for Flag Officer Sea Training, which is responsible for the training of all the ships of the Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary, along with many from foreign naval services.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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