TYPE 45 destroyer HMS Diamond has sailed to Gibraltar to assist in disaster relief operations in the Caribbean.
The Portsmouth-based warship left the UK last week for a nine-month deployment to the Middle East on maritime security operations, but was retasked this weekend following the events of Hurricane Irma.
HMS Diamond will be taking over HMS Ocean’s duties in the Mediterranean – Ocean herself will be assisting in the Caribbean.
The Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship Mounts Bay is already in the area, helping the people of the British Virgin Islands by delivering supplies and medical support.
Commanding Officer of HMS Diamond, Commander Ben Keith said: ‘Responding to disasters like this and delivering humanitarian aid to devastated communities is exactly what the Royal Navy trains for and is always available to do.
‘While HMS Diamond won’t be playing a direct part in the delivery of disaster relief to the Caribbean, my ship’s company are pleased to be able to help in a different way, by freeing up our flagship to bring that vital aid.
‘The thoughts of everybody in HMS Diamond are today with all those affected by the hurricanes, and we wish the best to all our colleagues across the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force as they work around the clock to send them help.’
HMS Diamond will now pick up the role of the flagship for NATO’s Standing Maritime Group Two (SNMG2).
SNMG2 provides potential military options for NATO and the UK to deal with any security emergencies.