Royal Navy destroyer returns from 7-month Middle East drug stint

Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon returned to Portsmouth on April 12, completing seven months of drug-busting action in the Middle East.

During her time at sea, Dragon carried out eight successful raids on drugs smugglers, capturing narcotics worth an estimated £145 million.

HMS Dragon deployed from Portsmouth on September 17, 2018, and has spent the last seven months deployed on operation Kipion in the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean.

At the outset of her deployment, HMS Dragon escorted RFA Lyme Bay through the Suez Canal and gave air protection to the joint Omani-UK exercise, Saif Sareea, alongside landing platform dock ship, HMS Albion.

The destroyer then went on to support further joint exercises with the Indian, United Arab Emirates, United States and Pakistani Navies.

“It really is great to be home. It’s been a long and exceptionally busy 7 months,” Commander Michael Carter-Quinn, commanding officer of HMS Dragon said. “Thankfully there is plenty to show for the effort, not least the outcome of a record-breaking 8 drug busts – 18 tonnes of drugs that will never reach our streets.”

The achievement is the greatest drugs haul by a Royal Naval unit in recorded history.

HMS Dragon enters Portsmouth for a well-deserved leave leading into a planned maintenance period. She is expected to deploy again later this year together with carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Photo: Photo: Royal Navy

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