Yesterday morning, HMS Defender returned to Portsmouth and I was on top of the Square Tower with families and loved ones to watch the ships return. I was invited by Rebecca Nash, whose husband is the commanding officer. Bex and her sons were there to wave him home
"Battle stations! Navy scrambles destroyer to challenge Russian warship off British coast (but it takes 24 hours to make 600-mile journey from Portsmouth base - was Putin testing our response time?)
- Russian vessel detected 30 miles away from Scotland last night
- Only ship available to respond was on south coast of England
- Tensions heightened when aerial photos showed ship full of missiles
"Commanders at PJHQ (Permanent Joint Headquarters) decided to send the new Type 45 destroyer HMS Defender, which is Britain’s immediate-response ship during a national security crisis. The warship sailed through high sea states and storm force winds to ‘welcome’ the group of six vessels, including a 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier.Due to bad weather, the Russian fleet anchored in the Moray Firth before heading down the east coast of the UK.The Royal Navy today revealed the Russian ships exchanged goodwill messages with HMS Defender on New Year’s Eve as a sign of friendship between the two navies.
Commander Phil Nash, HMS Defender’s commanding officer, said: ‘As a maritime nation the security of the seas around our coastline remain vital to our national interests.‘This tasking has demonstrated the Royal Navy’s enduring commitment in home waters and readiness to undertake tasking at any time of the year.
‘I am extremely proud of each and every one of my sailors.‘They have tackled this mission with utter professionalism and dedication to duty, whilst also being separated from their families at short notice over Christmas and new year.’ "
HMS Defender returned to Portsmouth at 11.00 hrs yesterday.
I would like to thank Rebecca Nash for inviting me.