The Royal Navy Type 45 Daring-class destroyer, HMS Diamond (D34) has returned home to Portsmouth after two months operating in the Mediterranean.
The warship fired a 17-gun salute as she sailed back into her home port earlier today.
Her deployment was part of the ongoing counter-ISIS NATO operations where she used her state-of-the-art technology to gather intelligence on the air battlespace, sharing this with the RAF and international allies in the region. She is one of just several Royal Navy warships to operate in the Eastern Med last year.
As well as the counter-terrorism operations, HMS Diamond also held port visits to Crete, Cyprus, Malta and Gibraltar to reinforce the Royal Navy’s long-standing links with those countries.
Commanding Officer of HMS Diamond Commander Ben Keith said: “This has been a challenging, but extremely rewarding and successful deployment. I’m proud of all that my ship’s company has achieved while we’ve been away and I’m incredibly grateful to Diamond’s extended family for all their support.”
HMS Diamond also proved her ability to integrate with the UK Air Component Commander (UKACC) by working with the RAF assets based in Cyprus. Training with E3s, Voyagers, Tornados, Typhoons and F-16s, Diamond practiced controlling a congested environment, observing and directing a variety of aircraft while operating with other UK Forces.
During her time in the Med, Diamond also spent a week on weapons and sensors training. She held live firing exercises with the 4.5” Gun, the 30mm, Phalanx and small arms, using her embarked Wildcat Helicopter from 815 Squadron at RNAS Yeovilton – callsign Roughcut – to observe and direct the firings onto the targets with impressive accuracy.
Cdr Keith added: “This proves our ability to deploy, operate and sustain ourselves for however long is required. Type 45s are one of the cornerstones of our modern Navy and this training enables us to demonstrate our ability to exercise and operate with Armed Forces both internationally and across Defence.”