WITH a dragon roaring from her bow, this Royal Navy warship cut through the waves as she left Portsmouth in the early morning.
Watched on from the Hot Walls in Old Portsmouth by the friends and family of those on board, HMS Dragon left the city yesterday to spend seven months on Atlantic patrols. It is only the second-ever deployment for the warship, which returned from her maiden deployment in the Gulf less than a year ago.
To mark the occasion, the fiercely-named Type 45 destroyer had a red dragon painted onto her bow, just as she did for her first ever entry to Portsmouth in 2011.
Captain Rex Cox, the commanding officer of HMS Dragon, said: ‘HMS Dragon is returning to this strategically important region to continue the good work achieved by ships of the Royal Navy over many years.
‘My ship’s company is very much up for the challenge and eager to get stuck in.’
HMS Dragon will take over from HMS Iron Duke, another Portsmouth-based ship, on the Atlantic patrol task.
Their role over there will be to build on the UK’s strong ties with its allies.
During her seven months away, Dragon will visit several ports in the South Atlantic and Pacific oceans as well as visiting a number of West African states to strengthen relationships.
As reported in The News, HMS Dragon’s first deployment was to the Gulf, where she carried out maritime security operations for nine months.