HMS York on her way back to the warzone in Libya

HMS York is setting sail on Monday
HMS York is setting sail on Monday

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HMS York will sail for Libya on Monday.

The Portsmouth-based destroyer will head to the warzone to relieve her sister ship HMS Liverpool which has been off the Libyan coast since April.

HMS Southampton is leaving Portsmouth

HMS Southampton is leaving Portsmouth

York conducted operations off Libya for two weeks in March, delivering humanitarian aid to the eastern city of Benghazi and evacuating 43 people to Malta.

She then went on to conduct security patrols in the South Atlantic, returning to the UK in July.

The ship’s commanding officer Commander Rex Cox told The News: ‘We’re looking forward to getting the ship back out there.

‘The aim is to be out there until the mission ends.

‘Liverpool has been on task off the coast of Libya for quite a while and is being released.

‘Since York got back from the Falklands in July, sailors had a short period of leave and we’ve been working up towards this deployment for the last few weeks.

‘They have been working hard and the ship is ready.’

York will pass the Round Tower, Old Portsmouth, at 10am. The ship’s latest mission comes at a critical stage in the Libyan conflict as Colonel Gaddafi’s forces hold a last stand in the city of Sirte. The rest of the country, including the capital city of Tripoli, is held by the new National Transitional Council of Libya, which was formed out of the uprising against the Libyan dictator.

Cdr Cox said: ‘There has been a lot of uncertainty in the region and we are looking forward to getting out there and seeing how it pans out.’

York will patrol close to the Libyan coastline in support of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973 to protect Libyan civilians at risk of attack.

HMS Liverpool will leave the area to return home to Portsmouth in early November, as revealed in The News on Wednesday.

Sources have indicated she will receive a heroes’ welcome on November 7, although this has not been officially confirmed by the MoD.

Liverpool relieved York in the Mediterranean in early April and has been a constant presence off the Libyan coastline for 153 days now.

In that time, the warship has fired 209 rounds with her main 4.5” gun and amassed 360 hours of aircraft control while enforcing the no-fly zone over the county.

Her sailors have spent 81 hours at action stations and have been shot at 10 times by Gaddafi’s troops, whose rockets fell one mile short of the warship.