HMS Duncan Returns from Middle East

HMS Duncan returned to naval base Portsmouth from her maiden nine-month deployment to the Middle East on November 27.

The Type 45 destroyer – the UK’s newest warship – left the UK in March and has sailed 43,000 nautical miles and visited 14 countries.

She has policed busy shipping lanes in seven different seas and two oceans and provided protection for the US Navy aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt during air strikes against ISIL.

Working with the carrier in the northern Gulf, Duncan used the Samson radar to monitor air traffic.

Duncan also fired 90,000 bullets during exercises with a number of other navies and coastguards including live gunnery training against floating targets with warships from US and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

Among the crew on board was a specialist Royal Marines team which boarded vessels throughout Duncan’s area of operations and trained with GCC forces and US personnel.

Duncan’s Lynx helicopter, from 815 Squadron based at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton in Somerset, also played a key role in the deployment – monitoring hundreds of square miles for small vessels by day and night.

The ship also hosted one of the Royal Navy’s new Wildcat helicopters for hot-weather trials in the hot, humid conditions of the Gulf.

After handing over to her sister ship HMS Defender at the start of November, HMS Duncan was the first major British warship this decade to visit the Black Sea and train with the navies of NATO allies Romania and Bulgaria.

Image: Royal Navy

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