HMS Middleton returned to Portsmouth today after three years away from her home port.
THE captain of the Royal Navy minesweeper spoke of his relief and pride as the warship arrived from her long deployment on patrol in the Gulf.
Lieutenant Commander Steve Higham, said: ‘We have trained hard with other navies and proven the Royal Navy’s ability to find and destroy sea mines in the most challenging of conditions.
‘The separation has been hard, the distances great, but the encouragement and support of families has been key to our success and I know everyone is looking forward to a few weeks of thoroughly well-deserved leave.’
Middleton, which has a crew of 45, has been based out of Bahrain since 2009. Her three ship’s companies rotate every six to eight months.
Lt Cmdr Higham ordered three cheers for around 200 friends and relatives who welcomed the crew at the naval base at 9.30am.