UK: Type 45 Destroyer’s First Visit to Wales Give Public Chance to Board

Type 45 Destroyer's First Visit to Wales Give Public Chance to Board
HMS Diamond and her crew are currently undergoing Operational Sea Training (OST), an intensive period of drills and exercises designed to test the ship’s responses to a variety of scenarios, in readiness for her deployment on operations next year.

While alongside on Friday and Saturday, the ship’s Commanding Officer, Commander Ian Clarke, and his crew will host a number of local organisations and students from Glanymor School, Gowerton School, Cowbridge Comprehensive and Howell’s School for Girls, plus sea cadet units from Port Talbot, Neath and Swansea.

On Friday night, Cdr Clarke and his crew are putting on a reception and capability demonstration for invited guests, at which it is hoped the Howell’s School girls’ choir will put on a short performance.

A bugler from the Royal Marines Band will also play a ceremonial sunset.

But the highlight of the visit is from 2pm until 5pm on Saturday when Diamond – the 12th RN ship to bear that name – throws open her gangway to members of the general public, who can tour this exceptional ship and learn more about the extensive capability of today’s Royal Navy.

Commander Clarke said:

“As part of our Operational Sea Training syllabus, we are required to fulfil a defence diplomacy tasking which means taking part in regional engagement.

“On operations, Royal Navy warships engage with communities all around the world.

“I am thrilled to be bringing HMS Diamond to Swansea for the first visit of a Type 45 destroyer to Wales.

“Of course, this will become a familiar sight when our sister ship HMS Dragon – which will be affiliated to Cardiff – is in service.”

“We are all looking forward to our short stay alongside in Swansea and I would urge as many local people as possible to come on board.

“Ship visits like this are all about cementing the bond between the Royal Navy and the public, giving us the chance to explain the vital task that we do and showing what life is like on board a modern warship.”

During her time alongside, Commander Clarke will also engage in a number of official calls to civic dignitaries.

The destroyer will be berthed in Swansea until Sunday, when at about 11am, she will return to sea to continue her programme.

Diamond was built by BVT Surface Fleet in Govan shipyard on the river Clyde and was launched on 27th November 2007 by Lady Suzie Johns, wife of Vice Admiral Sir Adrian Johns KCB, CDE.

The ship was accepted off contract at Portsmouth in September 2011 and has been undergoing rigorous sea trials.

She was commissioned into the Royal Navy in May this year and will deploy on operations in 2012.

She joins her two sister ships HMS Daring and Dauntless as the most advanced class of warship in the fleet.

Naval Today Staff, November 16, 2011; Image: mod