Lifting the lid on Dragon shows worth of navy work

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As you sleep tonight, Royal Navy sailors will be working hard in far-flung seas, monitoring, watching, recording and protecting.

As we relaxed over the weekend, sailors in the Gulf and the Med have been alert making sure they are at full readiness to swing into action should the situation arise.

Our feature on HMS Dragon today gives an insight into life on board a warship. Even in times of peace, it’s hard work – just imagine working six hours on, six hours off non-stop for a fortnight, let alone seven months, to give an idea of how draining it can be.

But also, as was made abundantly clear, the spirit aboard HMS Dragon is high – it’s a happy ship, in which Captain Iain Lower, working by the maxim of working hard and playing hard, is getting the best out of his ship’s company.

We’re grateful to the navy for giving The News such unprecedented access into the senior service’s operations in the Middle East, and for lifting the lid on the awesome technology that Dragon, like her five sister Type 45s, possesses.

But what our report today, and those in the coming days, reveal is that the Royal Navy is constantly working to keep the world’s seas safer.

Their actions may not always make headline news like HMS Lancaster’s recent £100m drugs bust in the Caribbean, but just their very presence is enough to be keeping pirates at bay and, more importantly, keeping shipping lines open.

So while Dragon is away until October, and elsewhere Illustrious, Westminster, Richmond, Kent and the aforementioned Lancaster fly the Royal Navy’s flag, do not forget them. As the base of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth can be proud of its connections to the ships that call the city its home.

Today’s report is a fascinating look at how Dragon’s company are getting to grips with her new technology as the ship is on deployment for the first time.

It’s a reminder of the awesome power of the Type 45s, and a reminder of the hard graft that has made the Royal Navy the envy of many countries around the world.