The Royal Navy’s nuclear-powered submarine HMS Talent returned to her base-port of HM Naval Base Devonport in Plymouth on Monday, January 27th after a five-month deployment.
The submarine’s deployment began with training and exercises in the Mediterranean aimed at building up the fighting capability of her 130 crew members, simulating attacks with the Tomahawk Land Attack Missile system and Spearfish torpedoes. This was followed by a stop in Gibraltar for routine maintenance.
Commander John Aitken, HMS Talent commanding officer, said: “My ship’s company are the best I’ve ever worked with. They’ve done a fantastic job. This is my last submarine sea-going job and I couldn’t have had a better bunch of fellas to see us through.”
During deployment some of his crew received their ‘Dolphins’ – dolphin-shaped badges, denoting their full submariner qualifications.
A few sailors were given the opportunity to spend time onboard one of the Royal Navy’s advanced Type 45 air defence destroyers HMS Dragon when the submarine worked with the ship on trials and exercises with US Navy warships.
Subsequently, HMS Talent called at Souda Bay on Crete, before setting sail to the Red Sea.
The submarine visited the United Arab Emirates when the crew headed to Dubai to climb the highest building in the world and explore the desert. HMS Talent then carried out operations for several weeks before spending Christmas and New Year in Bahrain.
The submarine will undergo a six-week maintenance period in Plymouth before proceeding to further training at sea to ensure her full operational capability.
Naval Today Staff, January 28, 2014; Image: Royal Navy