HMS Diamond sails from Gibraltar to relieve HMS Ocean for disaster relief...

HMS Diamond sails from Gibraltar to relieve HMS Ocean for disaster relief operations

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HMS Diamond has sailed from Gibraltar to relieve fleet flagship HMS Ocean for disaster relief operations in the Caribbean.

The Type 45 Destroyer left the UK last week for a nine-month deployment to the Middle East on maritime security operations, but was retasked this weekend following the events of Hurricane Irma. She will now take on HMS Ocean’s original mission – the leadership of a major NATO maritime task group.

Having turned around mid-way through the Mediterranean as soon as she received the orders, HMS Ocean is now racing towards Gibraltar where she will pick up disaster relief stores and head immediately to the Caribbean to join the efforts to rebuild the devastated communities there.

Diamond and Ocean passed each other in the Med yesterday evening.

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship Mounts Bay is already in the area, helping the people of the British Virgin Islands by delivering supplies and medical support from her Wildcat helicopter. Royal Marines from 40 Commando are also on the ground in the capital, Tortola, which was one of the worst-affected areas after the Category 5 storm struck.

Commander Ben Keith, the Commanding Officer of HMS Diamond, said:

“Responding to disasters like this and delivering humanitarian aid to devastated communities is exactly what the Royal Navy trains for and is always available to do. 

While HMS Diamond won’t be playing a direct part in the delivery of disaster relief to the Caribbean, my ship’s company are pleased to be able to help in a different way, by freeing up our flagship to bring that vital aid. 

The thoughts of everybody in HMS Diamond are today with all those affected by the hurricanes, and we wish the best to all our colleagues across the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force as they work around the clock to send them help.” 

HMS Diamond will now pick up the role of the flagship for NATO’s Standing Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2), which shows the UK’s strong and ongoing commitment to NATO as a key part of the defence of the UK and her allies. SNMG2 also provides potential military options for NATO and the UK to deal with any security emergencies.

8 COMMENTS

  1. There is a type 23 out there already, Monmouth I think. My guess is that she will have her deployment stretched whilst we scramble around to find something to relieve her, probably one of the type 45s alongside in Portsmouth if we can manage it.

  2. Interested to know how a destroyer can take over from a helicopter carrier. Bit of a difference! They mustn’t justify Ocean too much though. After all, they are very keen to flog her off.

  3. “HMS Ocean is now racing towards Gibraltar where she will pick up disaster relief stores and head immediately to the Caribbean”

    Racing??
    Really??
    More of a sedate plod me thinks with her engines and top speed.

    • As fast as possible……? The main thing is she gets there. A better option might be sending QE, she could then shut up the critics, and the critics of the UK response to the crisis – which has been excellent – complete her trials while crossing the Atlantic, stop wasting resources sitting in Portsmouth: there are two police boats sitting in the harbour guarding her. And finally get some sea time operating helicopters – Merlins and Chinooks for starters – helping all those people. The second hurricane hasn’t struck yet!

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