The Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron provided force protection for HMS Daring as she left the Rock at the end of her first overseas port of call as she heads east of Suez.
Before HMS Daring left Gibraltar, HMS Scimitar - one of two fast patrol boats based at the Rock - sailed at sunrise on a bright winter’s morning to conduct a security sweep of the Western Anchorage.
Accompanying Scimitar was Gibraltar Squadron’s Arctic 24 rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) crewed by Coxswain Leading Seaman Paul Iche and the squadron’s new arrival, Able Seaman Matt Amelan, a Royal Naval Reservist augmented to Gibraltar for 12 months.
Promptly at 0900hrs, Daring left 41 berth and conducted a stern-first reverse through the southern entrance which had already been cleared by Scimitar and the RHIB. Once the pilot had disembarked, the ship increased speed south for a departure at pace, with Scimitar providing a close proximity escort.
When Daring had safely reached the limit of British Gibraltar territorial waters, the ship and Scimitar moved into the next part of their morning’s work, a force protection exercise in which Scimitar simulated various attacks on the destroyer.
Small, fast and manoeuvrable, Scimitar and her sister Sabre are well able to simulate a waterborne terrorist attack and are often used by deploying ships for this type of continuation training.
It quickly became apparent that Daring’s pre-deployment training had ensured her force protection teams were highly ‘worked up’ in a ship which is well-equipped to defend herself. Despite the best efforts of Scimitar’s two gun aimers, Daring successfully deterred the mock attacks and the exercise was completed.
This was all in a morning’s work for the crew of HMS Scimitar who were rewarded for their efforts by the sight of HMS Daring sailing off into the Mediterranean.
This was particularly poignant for HMS Scimitar’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Tom Knott, who was previously Daring’s Navigating Officer:
The Type 45 is an incredibly capable ship and a great deal of effort has brought her to this point in her naval commission,” said Lieutenant Knott.
As the future workhorse of the Royal Navy, I am looking forward to seeing Daring prove herself on this, her first operational deployment.