Royal Navy ship HMS Duncan drops anchor in Mallorca after NATO Black Sea operation

Navy's most modern ship returning home after three-month deployment

LAST UPDATED: 23 Aug, 2017 @ 13:35
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ROYAL Navy warship HMS Duncan has docked in Palma de Mallorca following a three-month NATO mission.

The Type 45 destroyer, the newest vessel in the Royal Navy’s fleet, was the flagship in a NATO task force to the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.

HMS Duncan, with room for 265 crew, set sail on her maiden deployment in 2015 and for the past three months has patrolled the seas under the command of Commodore James Morley.

CEREMONY: HMS Duncan crew lower colours at sundown

“It has been a very successful mission,” Lt. Cdr Tom Dorman told the Olive Press, on board HMS Duncan.

“The Mediterranean and the Black Sea provide many challenges, but the key part has been overcoming those.

“We worked alongside our fellow NATO nations, where English may not be their first language.”

The state-of-the-art warship, which carried a detachment of Royal Marines on the mission, holds a Wildcat helicopter.

Part of the mission was to patrol migrant hotspots in the Aegean, although there has been a marked drop in those attempting to reach Europe via this route this summer.

HMS Duncan crew also helped train and rebuild the Ukrainian navy, which lost much of its capability after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.

During the mission, a journalist from The Times reported how a Russian intelligence-gathering ship followed HMS Duncan from the moment she entered the Black Sea.

“It’s not a particularly big deal,” said Lt. Cdr Tom Dorman. “The Black Sea is a big water mass and inevitably every nation has its interests.”

HMS Duncan was in Palma for a week before beginning its journey back to Portsmouth.

During their stay, the crew performed the sunset lowering of the colours ceremony for guests on board.

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