We’ve sailed more than 47,000 miles, providing the crucial support to Charles De Gaulle’s strike operations against ISIL – and before her USS Carl Vinson’s – and conducted maritime security patrols, reassuring the merchant traffic that the every day lives of our families depend on.

Commander Andrew Block, Commanding Officer HMS Kent

In her breaks between providing air defence for US Navy flat-tops, HMS Dauntless visited Kuwait (hosting a reception for Prince Charles), Dubai (mid-deployment break), plus Abu Dhabi and Bahrain (hub of RN operations in the Middle East).

It was AB(WS) Andy Clark’s first deployment on a Type 45. “Highlights for me included Prince Charles’ attendance onboard in Kuwait and my first visit to Gibraltar as we headed back home. It was nice to revisit Dubai and I look forward to returning in the future,” he said.

“It’s been a busy and enjoyable deployment to the Gulf. As our principal role is air defence, it was interesting to work with the US and French carriers and I look forward to putting what I’ve learnt into practice when our own carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth comes online.”

As Dauntless was a shield against threats in the air, so Kent was watching what lies beneath, providing anti-submarine cover so the FS Charles de Gaulle could concentrate on launching air strikes.

Thereafter the frigate concentrated on the wider mission to stop smuggling by sea in the Indian Ocean (her sister Richmond has picked up that baton, while HMS Duncan relieved Dauntless), making extensive use of her Lynx helicopter which clocked up 180 hours flying as Kent’s airborne eyes.

Visits during a seven-month deployment included Crete, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Jordan, Muscat, Djibouti, Qatar, Montenegro, Palermo.

And seven months away was enough time for four babies to be born to dads serving on board… with the same new due any day now.

Kent’s busy galley has cooked up almost 20,000 sausages, 774 roastsand 31,000 eggs…

Which is seven thousand fewer eggs than consumed by Dauntless – even though her deployment was a couple of months shorter. The destroyer men and women also saw off 6,000 litres of milk – that’s about 242,000 cups of tea.

Given her length of time away – and the much broader domain of the Indian Ocean rather than the confines of the Gulf – Kent did clock up more than double the miles sailed by the two warships (47,000 to 23,000).

And both Commanding Officers were delighted with the contribution their ship’s companies made on every level – front-line operations, flying the flag, fundraising, sporting activities and generally rising to every challenge.

“I could not be more proud of my ship’s company, who have made a real impact in a very volatile part of the world,” said Kent’s Cdr Andrew Block.

“We’ve sailed more than 47,000 miles, providing the crucial support to Charles De Gaulle’s strike operations against ISIL – and before her USS Carl Vinson’s – and conducted maritime security patrols, reassuring the merchant traffic that the every day lives of our families depend on. 

“My ship’s company have also acted as ambassadors supporting the UK’s diplomatic efforts to protect British interests far from our shores. And we did all this, without missing a beat, nothing took Kent off task!“

Dauntless Cdr Adrian Fryer, said his men and women had demonstrated “hard work and determination” from the first day to the last.

He continued: “Our successful deployment has highlighted the true versatility of the Royal Navy and the capabilities of the Type 45 destroyers including our maritime security operations on our journey out to the Gulf, then changing role to host a royal visit from Prince Charles in Kuwait and our core role of providing air defence to the nuclear aircraft carriers the USS Carl Vinson and FS Charles de Gaulle in support of multinational operations against ISIL. 

“Returning home is something we have all been looking forward to since we started the long trip back to the UK and I thank the families of all my sailors for the continued support they have given throughout our deployment.”

HMNB Portsmouth

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Engineering Technician (Marine Engineering)

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