THE former captain of the Portsmouth-based warship HMS Lancaster has been awarded an OBE for fighting piracy off the coast of Somalia.
Commander Rory Bryan, 42, scooped the honour to mark his command of the Type 23 frigate while on NATO maritime security operations.
During a seven-month patrol in the Indian Ocean and North Arabian Gulf last year, HMS Lancaster seized two pirate vessels at anchor in Somali waters in East Africa.
She towed them out to sea and destroyed them using the ship’s 30mm gun.
A third pirate mothership laden with fuel was also discovered there and was destroyed.
Cdr Bryan, who lives in Portsmouth with his wife Bridget and two children, was thrilled to be presented with his OBE at Buckingham Palace recently.
He said: ‘I am of course delighted that the efforts of HMS Lancaster’s ship’s company have been recognised in this way.
‘Two deployments to both the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Aden in quick succession tested both the people and the equipment on the ship and they proved themselves more than equal to the task.
‘That we had such success against the pirates made it a particularly special time.’
Cdr Bryan has been in the Royal Navy for 24 years and was previously the commanding officer of HMS Mersey.
He currently works at the Defence Academy in Shrivenham in Wiltshire.