Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyer HMS Diamond is on her way home after spending two months on operations in the Atlantic and the Baltic Sea.
The destroyer has been activated throughout the traditionally busy summer season, as she monitored Russian naval activity twice, visited four ports and helped train warfare officers and RAF air crew.
The destroyer also represented the fleet in front of a million people at Bournemouth Air Festival in addition to joining NATO ships in the Baltic and visiting Poland.
The Portsmouth-based warship’s summer began in Ringaskiddy, near Cork where visitors included the Irish Naval College, Britain’s ambassador to Ireland Robin Barnett and deputy prime minister Simon Coveney.
Once back in the UK, Diamond picked up principle warfare officer trainees for a fortnight of action testing the students’ command of air defense, gunnery, flying, anti-submarine and surface warfare exercises, reaching its climax in the North Sea with RAF Typhoon fighters switching between attacking Diamond or being controlled by her.
A lot of the destroyer’s time has been spent as one of the Royal Navy’s high readiness escort units. She was activated to monitor Russian destroyer Severomorsk and cruiser Marshal Ustinov past the UK, then became the first ship in her class to take on fuel from one of the new Tide-class tankers, RFA Tidespring.
“I’m really proud of my ship’s company and all that they have achieved – over the past month or so they have shown their flexibility, adaptability and complete professionalism,” said Commander Ben Keith, Diamond’s commanding officer.
HMS Diamond will arrive at HMNB Portsmouth this week.