HMS Diamond has arrived in the Gulf – the second of Britain’s cutting-edge Type 45 destroyers to begin patrolling the sea this year.
The Portsmouth-based warship, which relieved her sister Daring last month, will spend the second half of 2012 helping to keep the waters east of Suez safe for all seagoers.
Pictures: LA(Phot) Gaz Weatherston, HMS Diamond
FILL her up, please.
Air warfare officer Lt Cdr Mark Headley directs the movements of HMS Diamond as the £1bn destroyer refuels in the Gulf courtesy of the American tanker USNS Laramie.
The third of Britain’s state-of-the-art Type 45 destroyers is now in place in her theatre of operations for the coming four months, having relieved her sister HMS Daring which carried out the same mission during the first half of the year.
During her passage into the Gulf, Diamond was joined by Britain’s naval liaison officer to Oman, Capt Richard Ingram – a decade ago, he commanded one of the RN’s previous generation of air defence destroyers, HMS Manchester – to see what D34 can bring to the international naval mission in the Middle East.
Capt Ingram took the opportunity while aboard to stress the important role that the Royal Navy has in reassuring regional allies of our commitment to the area…
…something of which Diamond is most definitely aware, having also hosted the man currently leading the international fight against terrorism, piracy and other criminal activity in the Indian Ocean.
The RN's liaison officer to Oman, Capt Richard Ingram (centre) chats with CO Cdr Ian Clarke (left) and navigator Lt James Wallington-Smith on Diamond's spacious (and space-age) bridge
Cdre Khan of the Pakistan Navy and members of his battle staff toured the ship and discussed the challenges of patrolling the ocean with Combined Task Force 150, a force of typically half a dozen ships spread across the Indian Ocean from the Arabian Sea to the Seychelles.
The Pakistani officer recalled how he had seen the design of Type 45 when he attended Staff College in the United Kingdom a few years ago. “I am thrilled to see these capable ships now being used on multi-national operations in the region,” he said.
Cdre Khan welcomed D34 to the group of nations operating in the Combined Maritime Forces – 26 nations and navies committed to making an area of some 2.5 million square miles (6.5 million square kilometres) safer for all seafarers.
During this maiden deployment, Diamond will work for all three of the task forces under the CMF banner: 150 (counter-terrorism/maritime security), 151 (counter-piracy), and 152 (maritime security in the Gulf).
And as she’s now ensconced in the Gulf, HMS Diamond is under the direction of CTF 152, joining Her Majesty’s minehunters Shoreham, Ramsey, Quorn and Atherstone, plus support ship RFA Cardigan Bay and vessels from other nations who are currently combining to provide better regional maritime security.