HMS Daring celebrated Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee whilst on operations in the North Arabian Sea on the 1st June 2012.
The Ship and her crew have now been deployed to the Middle East for five months since the 11th of January 2012. Daring had to celebrate a day early so the celebrations didn’t interfere with her current operational tasking.
The day of festivities began with a formal Diamond Jubilee Medal presentation ceremony for 126 eligible personnel on the ship’s flight deck. The medals were presented by the Commanding Officer, Captain Guy Robinson.
Once this had been done it fell to Flight Commander, Lt Cdr Joe Harper, who is currently the longest serving crew member of HMS Daring, to present Captain Robinson’s medal to him. Lt Cdr Harper has been in the Royal Navy for over 32 years and has already received the Golden Jubilee Medal as well as a Falklands Campaign medal which he was awarded for having seen action in the 1982 Falklands conflict.
After the medal ceremony there was then a “Street Party” lunch to allow the Ship’s company to take part in the similar street party celebrations going on across the Commonwealth. Tables were rigged on the flight deck with plenty of Union Jack bunting. This was followed by a “village fete” where numerous stalls were constructed and run by various members of the crew on a volunteer basis to raise money for the Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity.
Stalls included a set of stocks where, for a suitable donation, sponges could be thrown at various members of the ship’s company, including at the Executive Officer, Lt Cdr Rob Steadman, for those brave enough to risk it! There was a “name the bear” competition, a floating rubber duck racing stall, bash the rat and a coconut shy to name but a few.
The ship’s galley had also put in a big effort with the Chefs making a large selection of scones, cakes and pasties which were sold throughout the event. The celebrations concluded with a “United Services Tin” gift from Fortnum and Masons, which every member of the ship’s company received, and a horse racing night which continued to raise funds for the ship’s chosen charity. In all a grand total of £1550.20 was raised during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
AB Seaman Specialist Jonathan Crawley, who spends many hours on HMS Daring’s Bridge at the wheel of the UK’s most advanced warship, really enjoyed the day. He said:
“Being able to take some time out during our hectic programme to celebrate the Queen reaching such a fantastic milestone was brilliant. Marking the 60 years of constant service by her Majesty with an occasion like this will mean we will all remember the Diamond Jubilee, even though we are all digging out on deployment. At times like this, our thoughts always return to those at home”.
HMS Daring is on an operational deployment to the Middle East as part of the longstanding Royal Navy presence in the Region, which dates back to the 1980s. The Ship and her crew are currently deployed as part of the Combined Maritime Task Forces (CMF) where, with other partner nations, she has been conducting tasking ranging from maritime security and counter piracy operations as well as capacity building through to the wider maritime security effort dedicated to maintaining stability in the region.
This deployment has also seen Daring working and integrating with US Carriers Strike Groups and demonstrating her considerable air defence capabilities.
Naval Today Staff, June 26, 2012; Image: Royal Navy