News story

Royal Navy submarine returns home from successful patrol

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

HMS Talent arrived home to a cheering crowd in Plymouth on Monday (27 January) after a 5-month deployment promoting security worldwide.

The crew of the nuclear-powered submarine were greeted by around 100 family members and friends, who braved the freezing rain and wind, after a successful patrol in the Mediterranean and the Gulf.

The crowd, accompanied by a bugler and a bagpiper, waved welcome home banners as HMS Talent returned to Her Majesty’s Naval Base Devonport.

Commander John Aitken, the commanding officer of HMS Talent, said:

I’m really pleased to be home and see my wife Pippa and show her on board. We’ve had a fantastic deployment and I’m proud of HMS Talent and what we’ve achieved.

My ship’s company, who are the best I’ve ever worked with, have done a fantastic job. This is my last submarine seagoing job and I couldn’t have had a better bunch of fellas to see us through.

Crew members in the conning tower
Crew members of HMS Talent in the conning tower of the submarine as she comes alongside [Picture: Leading Airman (Photographer) Joel Rouse, Crown copyright]

During her deployment the submarine made a number of port visits and took part in exercises with foreign navies while remaining ready to provide flexibility and potential firepower at short notice.

On their return home to Plymouth, a number of the sailors were awarded badges featuring 2 dolphins signifying full submariner qualifications which were completed during the deployment.

HMS Talent tying up alongside
Crew members of HMS Talent pull in ropes to tie the submarine alongside [Picture: Leading Airman (Photographer) Joel Rouse, Crown copyright]

David Webb was awarded his ‘dolphins’ by the captain. He said:

It’s a great day of double celebrations for us to be home and to get our dolphins. I’ve missed my new daughter – she’s only 9 months, so I’ve missed a lot of her life and have been longing to see her again.

But I’m very proud to be a true submariner at last. It was very hard work learning everything about how a submarine works and what to do when something breaks down and what everyone else does on board.

The submarine will now undergo a 6-week maintenance period in Plymouth before conducting further training at sea to ensure she and her crew are ready in all respects to carry out any future tasking.