As Captain, I could not be prouder of the men and women who have worked alongside me over the last 18 months and particularly over the course of this deployment.

Commander Steve Higham, Commanding Officer HMS Defender

It’s not just the ship that requires fuelling.  During the deployment the 248 sailors on board have consumed 75,600 eggs, 19,000 kg of potatoes, or the equivalent of 16 mini Coopers, and 54,720 sausages weighing 3420 kg, which would cover three miles if laid end to end.

Defender has played an important role in furthering UK defence engagement and has hosted five capability demonstrations supporting British industry and defence diplomacy, welcoming a total of 1,400 guests. 

These included VIPs such as the Crown Prince of Bahrain, British ambassadors and defence attachés, as well as numerous representatives from foreign militaries and British industries.

Commanding Officer Steve Higham said: “As Captain, I could not be prouder of the men and women who have worked alongside me over the last 18 months and particularly over the course of this deployment.  

“Every Sailor, Royal Marine, Airman and Soldier who has served in Defender has been bold, confident and extraordinary, confident that what we have done here has made a difference and that we have directly contributed to the national security of the United Kingdom.”

Naval Airman Ayla Mair said: “The deployment has been challenging and really pushed the boundaries of my expectations but, it has been an incredibly rewarding experience.  We have visited so many different countries and our tasking has been extremely varied. 

“I feel that we, as a ship’s company, have a made a real difference.  Although I am really looking forward to seeing my family, a cup of tea and a catch up with my Mum is going to be great!”