The UK Royal Navy’s Type 45 Daring-class air-defence destroyer, HMS Dragon (D35) left her homeport in Portsmouth on Sept. 18 to embark on an operational deployment to the Gulf.
The HMNB Portsmouth based destroyer is scheduled to work alongside coalition and regional partners throughout her time away. She will be focused on providing regional maritime security, including counter-terrorism and anti-smuggling activities.
Commander Michael Carter-Quinn, Commanding Officer of HMS Dragon, said, “Today’s departure on operations has been achieved through the hard work and support of my ship’s company, their families and the wider defence enterprise in ensuring that we are materially and mentally ready to meet any of the challenges that we may face over the coming months.
“We look forward to the opportunities that will present themselves over this deployment to promote the United Kingdom’s commitment to regional security, working with partner nation navies to maintain and develop relationships and common capabilities.”
In preparation for the deployment, the crew has undergone extensive training, culminating in a 7-week Operational Sea Training (OST) package. For many of the ship’s company this was their first experience of OST.
Leading Engineering Technician (CIS) Benjamin Miller said, “Having received my career training at HMS Collingwood, OST provided the environment to implement this training, putting my skills into practice and challenging myself to use the theoretical and practical elements of my course.
“Through the seven weeks you are challenged through the multiple training scenarios to make sure individually and collectively we are able to respond to anything thrown at us. It’s hard work but the sense of achievement at the end was great.”