HMS Diamond joined the Danish, Norwegian and British task group in February to provide maritime force protection to merchant vessels transporting chemical agents from Syria.
The Limassol-based task group recently escorted the container ship the MV Ark Futura to Italy with some of the most dangerous chemical agents. These will be neutralised at sea in the next few months.
The operation followed diplomatic efforts to eliminate chemical weapons from the Syrian regime and the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2118, which calls for the destruction of the Syrian chemical weapons programme.
Leading Seaman Leigh Pickle, who works in HMS Diamond’s operations room, said:
This is my fourth deployment with the Royal Navy. The biggest achievement for me is that I have been a part of the ship’s company that directly contributed to the removal of chemical weapons from Syria. This makes me really proud.
Commander Andy Ingham, commanding officer of HMS Diamond, said:
This has been an operationally-intense deployment which required us to be at high readiness at all times. While this has meant the crew have worked hard to maintain this, we were able to balance the maintenance of the ship with a sustained edge, whilst ensuring internal routines maintained high morale.