HMS Kent leaves Portsmouth for Indian Ocean tasking

DEPARTURE HMS Kent leaves Portsmouth Harbour
DEPARTURE HMS Kent leaves Portsmouth Harbour
Lieutenant Colonel Nick Grace leads Royal Marine musicians on board Britannia

Nick’s swansong on Britannia is a proud moment

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DOZENS of families waved goodbye to their loved ones as HMS Kent left Portsmouth on a six-month deployment.

The crew of the Type 23 frigate left for the Indian Ocean on an counter-piracy operations.

She replaces Devonport-based HMS Northumberland and will focus on fighting pirates as part of the Royal Navy’s long-term presence east of Suez.

Charlotte Jones, 37, from Horndean was with her three children: William, seven, Oscar, four, and Freddy, three.

They were there to wave of husband and father chief petty officer Tim Jones.

She said: ‘It is the first one for the little two.

‘It’s not since William was 18 months.

‘We’ve just come back from Florida for two weeks. A nice trip goodbye.

‘Hopefully we’ll stay in touch with emails, letters, however we can really.

‘It’s not great I have to say but we’ll be keeping busy.

‘There’s definitely pride, it’s important what they do.’

The deployment is HMS Kent’s first since an extensive refit period in 2011.

Upgrades to the ship include a new sonar and medium-range gun.