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