HMS Iron Duke Comes Home for Christmas

HMS Iron Duke returned to Portsmouth on December 19 from a successful South Atlantic patrol conducting maritime security operations and providing support to British Overseas Territories in the region.

The Type 23 frigate and her 180 crew covered 27,442 miles and visited 11 countries during the six-month deployment.

The ship left the UK in June and travelled down the west coast of Africa, across the South Atlantic to the Falkland Islands, up the west coast of South America and through the Panama Canal back to Portsmouth.

She paid goodwill port visits in the Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Guinea, Ghana, Nigeria, Namibia, South Africa, Panama, Haiti, Barbados and the Azores and also visited the Falkland Islands and South Georgia.

Defence engagement during the deployment included exercising with forces from Guinea, Ghana, Nigeria and France and hosting a UK Trade and Industry event in Lagos, Nigeria, on behalf of the Home Office.

On patrol around the Falkland Islands the vessel visited several outlying settlements and conducted training with other British forces.

A transit through the Panama Canal was followed by a visit to Haiti which last hosted a British naval vessel in 2010. Iron Duke hosted a conference on illegal immigration and the ship’s company also got ashore to help local UN forces with several community regeneration projects.

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Press release, Image: UK Navy