Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan returned to her homeport in Portsmouth after six months of operations as flagship of NATO’s Standing Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2).
During her time at the helm of SNMG2, Duncan led an international group of frigates, destroyers and patrol ships on operations in the Mediterranean, Aegean and Black Sea.
“In taking charge of NATO’s Standing Maritime Group 2 for the second time in a year, Britain and the Royal Navy embody what we mean by global Britain,” defense secretary Gavin Williamson said.
The tensest time for HMS Duncan came in April following the alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria, and potential international response. The ship readied for any eventuality which meant taking the ship to action and preparing her weapon systems to be fully ready to react to any escalation in the region.
“This has been a landmark deployment,” said commanding officer, Commander Eleanor Stack. “HMS Duncan has provided an ultra-modern and uniquely-capable platform from which the UK’s command of the NATO’s Standing Maritime Group Two has been conducted successfully.
As well as the destroyer’s return, 201 Flight Wildcat HMA2 from 815 Naval Air Squadron at RNAS Yeovilton have arrived back to their families.
Over the course of the deployment they used Wildcat as the eyes and ears of the Task Group, using its sensors to build the ships’ maritime picture and provide an overt presence in theatre.
During their time away HMS Duncan visited the Gallipoli peninsula and Istanbul, Sicily, Split, Israel, the Black Sea and Georgia – the first visit by a Royal Navy warship since 2001. There was also a rescue of two lost Algerian fishermen and an amphibious exercise in Portugal in June.