HMS Daring returned to her home in Portsmouth today after completing her maiden operational deployment to the Middle East.
It has been a deployment of firsts for Daring, being the First of Class and the first Type 45 destroyer to deploy fully on operations. Since sailing in January her ship’s company have paved the way for future Type 45 operations with a busy and demanding six-and-a-half-month deployment.
Daring’s Commanding Officer, Captain Guy Robinson, said:
This has been a most rewarding deployment where we have been able to explore Daring’s capability in the challenging conditions of the Gulf. Unsurprisingly, there has been a lot of interest in the ship, particularly from the other navies we have worked with.
We have hosted a large number of visitors throughout the last six months and we have done much to raise the profile of the Type 45 and the Royal Navy.
Daring was sent to the region as part of the long-standing Royal Navy presence in the Middle East.
Daring and her crew were principally deployed as part of the Combined Maritime Forces and, with other partner nations, she conducted tasks ranging from counter-piracy to the wider maritime security effort dedicated to maintaining stability in the region.
As part of this tasking, Daring was the first Type 45 to visit a number of countries. She represented the UK in Bahrain, India, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
She also worked with a number of other navies and allies who are active in the region, building on the good relationships the Royal Navy and the UK have in the Middle East. Daring worked and integrated with the navies of Australia, France, India, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United States.
Able Seaman (Electronic Warfare Specialist) Elliot Parsons said:
Visiting so many different countries has been amazing. The Gulf is such a varied place and the stops have all been completely different. I think Mumbai, India, was my favourite; such a crazy, brilliant place. The opportunity to visit so many different countries is great, that is why I joined the Royal Navy.
Working with the United States Navy has seen Daring and her ship’s company integrate with the US Carrier Strike Groups One, Nine and Twelve centred on the aircraft carriers USS Carl Vinson, USS Abraham Lincoln and the famous USS Enterprise respectively. These ships carry large numbers of fast jets and are the most powerful warships afloat.
The culmination of this effort was Daring fully integrating with USS Abraham Lincoln, her associated Strike Group and her Air Wing of fast jets whilst they conducted missions supporting troops on the ground in Afghanistan.
Daring assumed the responsibility of Air Defence Commander for the whole of the northern Arabian Sea ‘checking in’ and ‘checking out’ of 141 aircraft launched from the Abraham Lincoln. In the same period the ship also checked in over 500 other military aircraft.
During the deployment Daring has travelled over 34,642 nautical miles (64,000 kilometres), spending 139 days at sea, and has visited 12 different countries.