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Type 45 Destroyer HMS Diamond ended her operations in the Central Mediterranean Sea this week.

The destroyer is now handing over duties countering the illegal arms trade into Libya to RFA Mounts Bay.

According to a Royal Navy press release, the Portsmouth based destroyer has been active in the region for the past two months, conducting surveillance and boarding merchant vessels suspected of supporting the illegal importation of weapons and ammunition into Libya.

The activity, in support of a United Nations Security Council resolution, has been part of Operation Sophia, the European Union Naval Force mission to try and stabilise the war torn region.

In September HMS Diamond became the first vessel to conduct a boarding in support of the UN Security Council resolution, deploying her Royal Navy and Royal Marine boarding teams, as well as her state of the art Wildcat helicopter, the first time the helicopter has been utilised in a live operation from a Type 45.

Commander Marcus Hember, Commanding Officer, said:

“Diamond has made a vital contribution to the effort here in the Mediterranean.

It is important that we not only contribute to the efforts to help the people of Libya, but that we also try to address the root causes of these problems.

We have certainly contributed to that effort in our time here, dramatically improving our understanding of maritime activity in the region.”

The Type 45 Destroyer will now return to the UK.

Press release ends.

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