HMS Defender leaves Portsmouth for the Middle East

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Naval families said goodbye to their loved ones today as HMS Defender left Portsmouth.

The Type 45 destroyer sailed past the Round Tower on its way to carry out security operations in the Middle East.

HMS Defender leaves Portsmouth

HMS Defender leaves Portsmouth

Liz Yemm, mother of 18-year-old engineer Alex Yemm, said: ‘He’s only passed out of Sultan on Friday and he’s off, so it’s quick. We wish him all the best.’

Barry and Lynda Carter, of Gosport, were at the Round Tower to wave goodbye to their son, David Carter, 38, a warrant officer.

Barry said: ‘We’re tremendously proud of what he does.

‘We’re proud when he leaves but even more excited when he comes back.’

Catherine Murphy, of Gosport, was there to see off her husband, Mark Murphy, with their two sons Aden, 5, and Brandyn, 6.

She said: ‘This is his first deployment so it is a bit sad.

‘We wish him all the best of luck that he will get home safe.’

The Defender has a company of 200 who have already undergone sea trials off the British coast.