A SAILOR from Portsmouth has told of his apprehension about leaving his young family to begin his next mission with the Royal Navy.
Petty Officer Jamie Stickley set sail from Plymouth on HMS Ocean as the warship begins her role as the flagship of a major Nato maritime group in the Mediterranean.
PO Stickley, who is the physical training instructor on board, is leaving behind his wife Josie and three-year-old son Parker to serve on the deployment.
He said: ‘I’m a little apprehensive because I haven’t been to sea since 2008, but I’m also excited because HMS Ocean is a great ship to serve in and this is an important large deployment.
‘I’m also sad because I had to say goodbye to my family. But it will help that my mind will be occupied as I will be busy looking after the physical development of anyone who wants to take part.
‘I have three gyms on board and we can use the flight deck if flying operations allow.’
Ocean will be leading Nato’s Standing Maritime Group 2, providing security to the region.
She is taking over the role from Portsmouth-based Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan.
The 21,500-tonne ship has a crew of 400 including Royal Marines.