WARSHIP HMS Iron Duke will return home tomorrow from a six-month deployment working with a multinational Nato task group in northern Europe.
Clocking up more than 22,500 nautical miles in her 180 days away, the Type 23 frigate worked alongside Nato allies as part of the Standing Nato Maritime Group 1 – tasked with providing continuous maritime capability in peacetime and periods of crisis and conflict.
The first half of her time away was spent in the extreme cold and rough seas off Norway and the second in the calm seas of the Baltic.
Through war-fighting exercises, transits and patrols through these regions, the ship has visited 19 ports in 10 different countries.
Along the way, the 185-strong ship’s company has taken part in a number of major Nato exercises including Cold Response, Joint Warrior and Baltops 16.
The ship also demonstrated the UK’s commitment to Nato and its Baltic allies through a significant amount of defence engagement in the region.
Her Commanding Officer, Commander Ben Aldous, said: ‘This has been an enormously successful deployment for Iron Duke. My ship’s company has earned themselves an outstanding reputation among our Nato allies.
‘I am very proud of what each and every one of my sailors has achieved over the last six-months and they can look forward to some well-deserved time at home.’