Royal Navy: HMS Duncan returns to Portsmouth Naval Base following six month deployment in eastern Mediterranean

Hundreds of families have welcomed home the crew of HMS Duncan which is the final Royal Navy warship to return to base in the UK for Christmas.

The Type 45 destroyer sailed into Portsmouth Naval Base on December 22 as more than 700 friends and families waited on the jetty to be reunited. Commander Ben Martin, the ship’s commanding officer, said: “We thank our families and friends for their continued support.

“It has been invaluable as Duncan delivered on operations despite the challenges and uncertainty we faced.

Cdr Martin added: “As the flagship we undertook the significant responsibility of carrying the Nato commander and his staff, responsible for Nato’s contribution to maritime security in the Mediterranean region.

“Whilst this brought with it its own set of challenges, Duncan’s sailors have risen to them with nothing less than their characteristic professionalism and can-do attitude.

“This work was vital to the work of Nato which, at present, is heavily engaged in reassuring our friends and allies overseas in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the recent Israel-Hamas crisis.”

HMS Duncan, which won the Royal Navy Destroyer of the Year trophy, sailed more than 35,000 miles and spent 270 days deployed during its operations through the year, in which it led 19 different warships from nine alliance nations. A Royal Navy spokeswoman said that the ship would now prepare for future operations in 2024.

Here are 6 majestic pictures of HMS Duncan’s return: