Iron Duke trains to impress as Baltic exercise continues

The Portsmouth based frigate, HMS Iron Duke, spent the weekend in the Polish port of Gdynia where vessels from 17 nations gathered for a pre-sail conference

The Portsmouth based frigate, HMS Iron Duke, spent the weekend in the Polish port of Gdynia where vessels from 17 nations gathered for a pre-sail conference

Michelle Bates, WO2 Lloyd Gillingham, Noah, six, and Gunner Ryan Hancock
Pictures: Habibur Rahman

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AMID a busy training schedule, sailors on HMS Iron Duke have taken some time to welcome their US counterparts.

The Portsmouth-based ship hosted the US Navy’s Vice-Admiral James Foggo as well as sailors from the USS Jason Dunham.

I value greatly the contribution that HMS Iron Duke is making to Baltops and wider NATO interoperability

Vice-Adml James Foggo

Currently deployed in the Baltic Sea with Royal Navy Flagship HMS Ocean and the minehunter HMS Quorn, Iron Duke is part of a large Nato task group involved in a large-scale exercise called Baltops.

Vice-Adml Foggo said: ‘I value greatly the contribution that HMS Iron Duke is making to Baltops and wider NATO interoperability.’

While on board, he presented one of Iron Duke’s sailors with a Long Service and Good Conduct (LSGC) medal.

The LSGC is awarded to a sailor after completing 15 years of unblemished service.

Leading Seaman Justin ‘Tug’ Wilson received the award in the commanding officer’s cabin.

He said: ‘Receiving the LSGC was a real buzz for me, and knowing that it recognises the time I have served makes it mean that much more. To get presented by a three-star admiral made it even more special.’

Taking to the sky in one of HMS Ocean’s helicopters Lieutenant Commander Chris Hammond took a series of photos of the group working together.

He said: ‘The weather was fantastic and I just hope I did the Task Group justice.’

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