HMS Iron Duke to leave Portsmouth on six-month NATO mission

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HMS Iron Duke is leaving Portsmouth on Monday for a six-month deployment to northern Europe.

The Type 23 frigate will work with a multinational Nato task group, taking part in exercises and operations.

The 180-strong ship’s company will be permanently available to Nato a range of tasks and diplomatic visits to countries in the region.

Iron Duke’s commanding officer, Commander Ben Aldous, is looking forward to the deployment.

‘We have been preparing for this deployment throughout 2015 with a great deal of effort making sure we have a ship and crew that is ready for the task,’ he said.

‘This has included a number of equipment upgrades, making Iron Duke one of the most capable ships in the fleet.

‘The ship’s company has put in a huge amount of effort during our pre-deployment training.’

Many of the ship’s company have never deployed overseas before, including 30-year-old engineering technician Owen Goodridge, a weapon engineer from Portsmouth.

He said: ‘I’m very much looking forward to operating with Nato and getting the opportunity to see some new places.’

Iron Duke leaves on Monday morning.