SAILORS on board HMS Dauntless have started their new year by heading for the Gulf for a maritime security mission.
The Type 45 destroyer left Portsmouth yesterday morning for a routine deployment to the region.
HMS Dauntless will keep up a continuous presence in the region deterring piracy and keeping sea lanes open for free and safe passage of merchant vessels.
During her time away, the Portsmouth-based warship will make several stops in the Mediterranean for training as well as visiting ports in a number of Gulf states to strengthen ties in the region.
Her commanding officer, Commander Adrian Fryer, said: ‘This will be a high-profile deployment for Dauntless during which we will provide reassurance to the UK’s allies in the region, while conducting maritime security and counter-piracy patrols.
‘HMS Dauntless has been through intense training to be in a position to undertake this deployment and I am immensely proud of my ship’s company.’
Those on board are planning to mark this year’s centenary of the Gallipoli Campaign on their way home.
Dauntless will transit the Dardanelles to take part in organised events to commemorate the 100th anniversary.
Cdr Fryer added: ‘It will be a great privilege for Dauntless to support the centenary and remember the immense bravery and sacrifices that were made there.’
Able Seaman Sam Whitehead, one of those who serves on board, said: ‘I am really looking forward to going away with HMS Dauntless.
‘This is my first deployment and I’m really excited to be doing something so important.’
HMS Dauntless is the second of six Type 45 destroyers which are based in Portsmouth. She joined the fleet in November
The Royal Navy refers to the Type 45s as the ‘backbone’ of the navy, committed around the world 365 days a year hunting pirates, drug runners or submarines, defending the fleet from air attack and providing humanitarian aid after natural disasters.