HMS Diamond has returned home to Portsmouth for Christmas.
There were emotional scenes at the city’s naval base as the ship returned from a successful maiden deployment to the Middle East.
Excited families waving flags had been waiting all morning to see their, husbands, wives, parents, and children again.
One if them was Toni-Marrie Richardson, 25, from Rowner in Gosport.
She was waiting for Leading Seaman Nicholas McNamee, 25, with their 11-month-old son William from Rowner in Gosport.
LS McNamee said: ‘It is a great day.
‘Its difficult being away at sea when you know your family is back home.
‘But it’s amazing to see them again.’
The new Type 45 Destroyer has sailed more than 31,000 miles on security and counter-piracy patrols in the Indian Ocean, Gulf of Oman and the Gulf since she left Portsmouth in June.
HMS Diamond played a special part in the Queen’s jubilee celebrations this year, officially launching them with a ceremonial entry into Portsmouth Naval Base.
After the festivities, she travelled through the Mediterranean and through the Suez Canal, before taking over duties from her sister ship HMS Daring.
HMS Diamond then spent five months as part of the Combined Task Force, a 27-nation partnership promoting security in the Middle East.
Petty Officer David Turner said: ‘It has been a busy few months but working with the other navies has been enjoyable, as have all the fascinating places we have visited.
‘Although what we have achieved has been immensely rewarding, after six months away it is good to know that we are back in time to be reunited with our loved ones for Christmas.’
And Commodore the Hon Michael Cochrane, commander of the Portsmouth Flotilla, added: ‘We welcome Diamond back after what has been an exciting and high-profile deployment for the ship’s company, whose work has seen them entering new fields of interest for the air defence community.
‘I am sure they will enjoy their well-earned period of leave.’