HMS Diamond welcomed home in Portsmouth after deployment cut short

Families welcome HMS Diamond home. Picture: Joe Cater/RN
Families welcome HMS Diamond home. Picture: Joe Cater/RN
Daniel Williams as King Charles I at Portsmouth Car Ferry Terminal, Gunwharf. Picture: Byron Melton

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FAMILIES have welcomed home a ship that returned home to Portsmouth after suffering technical problems.

HMS Diamond arrived at Portsmouth Naval Base today as families and friends were reunited with loved ones.

HMS Diamond returns to Portsmouth on December 1. Picture: AB Belinda Alker

HMS Diamond returns to Portsmouth on December 1. Picture: AB Belinda Alker

The Type 45 destroyer arrived in port having been due to head to the Gulf for a nine-month deployment.

She had set sail from the city on September 5.

Sailors on board the ship had taken part in a two-week 27-ship NATO exercise and taken the place of HMS Ocean commanding NATO Standing Maritime Group 2 in the Mediterranean.

She took up that role after HMS Ocean was re-tasked to deliver disaster relief in the Caribbean.

Commander Ben Keith, commanding officer, said: ‘While it is earlier than planned, it was fantastic to see all of our families waiting here for us on the jetty; everyone on board was incredibly excited.

‘We had a rapid change of programme not long after we deployed by taking on the command of NATO Standing Maritime Group 2 in the Med where we completed two months of tasking conducting maritime security with our NATO partners and reassuring our Allies of our commitment to NATO.’

The ship joined the NATO task force in Montenegro, sailing with French, Greek, Turkish, and Spanish ships.

Cdr Keith added: ‘We’ve done a lot of very high level engagement while we have been away,’

‘I am really proud of my ship’s company who have really worked hard and consistently delivered in support of the UK’s interests while in the Mediterranean.’