Families’ pride as Portsmouth’s HMS Iron Duke returns home after six-month Nato mission

Robin Darnell and Lesley Darnell welcome home their son Oliver with Oliver's girlfriend Ashleigh
Robin Darnell and Lesley Darnell welcome home their son Oliver with Oliver's girlfriend Ashleigh
An exercise involving Hampshire emergency services has been held on board HMS Queen Elizabeth at HMNB Portsmouth.  Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service, Hampshire Ambulance Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) and Portsmouth Naval Bases Emergency Response Team (ERT) were put through their paces on board the Royal Navys brand new aircraft carrier.  The ship put together a realistic harbour fire exercise with training smoke and mock casualties to test their agencies in their response and in working together to combat an emergency on an extremely unfamiliar environment.

IN PICTURES: The first major emergency training exercise on HMS Queen Elizabeth

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EMOTIONS ran high at Portsmouth naval base this morning as scores of families turned out to welcome home HMS Iron Duke following her sixth month deployment in Northern Europe.

There were tears of happiness as the Type 23 Frigate came ashore and loved ones were reunited.

Many families came along with banners and waved flags and banners in support of the men who have served overseas, working with a multinational NATO task group.

The crew greeted their delighted wives and girlfriends with bouquets of flowers.

Proud parents Robin and Lesley Darnell made the trip from Rotherham to welcome home their son, Oliver, 24. Joining them was Oliver’s girlfriend, Ashleigh, 22.

Lesley said: ‘It’s a proud day for the family. He had his 24th birthday while out at sea. He has been terribly missed by everyone. It’s a really big occasion.’