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HMS Diamond is home in Portsmouth

Portsmouth based HMS Diamond has returned home after six months away in Syria.

The ship has been removing chemical weapons from the country to be destroyed.

HMS Diamond coming into Portsmouth Credit: Royal Navy
Crowds gathered in Portsmouth to welcome home loved ones onboard HMS Diamond Credit: Royal Navy

It set off in January for the Gulf but was asked to head to Syria in February to help in Operation RECSYR (Removal of Chemical Weapons from Syria)

The ship spent a lot of time escorting Danish and Norwegian merchant vessels as they sat in international waters waiting for each pick up of chemical substances.

The crew have been away for 6 months Credit: Royal Navy
HMS Diamond crew disembarking to see their family and friends Credit: Royal Navy

HMS Diamond to return home to Portsmouth

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HMS Diamond will return home to Portsmouth Credit: ITV Meridian

After six months away at sea, Portsmouth based HMS Diamond will return to port today after its operation in Syria, removing chemical weapons.

ship
HMS Diamond will return home to Portsmouth Credit: ITV Meridian

The ship left Hampshire in January to head to the Gulf but was re-directed in February to help with the situation in the war-torn country.

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HMS Diamond 'at forefront' of Syria operation

HMS Diamond holds a day-into-night Replenishment At Sea with the French Ship Var Credit: FS Var

The Portsmouth-based HMS Diamond has been helping out a French tanker as part of her Mediterranean deployment.

Since leaving her home base of Portsmouth, HMS Diamond has been at the forefront of operations.

The naval ship is currently supporting Op RECSYR, which stands for Removal of Chemical Weapons from Syria.

HMS Diamond holds a day-into-night Replenishment At Sea with the French Ship Var Credit: Royal Navy

Petty Officer Scott Gratton, the Chief Bosun’s Mate who has responsibility for all seamanship evolutions, said: “Replenishing whilst underway is widely considered to be the most dangerous peace time evolution a warship will carry out.

"It would be akin to driving alongside a petrol tanker on the motorway refuelling your car for around three hours.”

Racing pigeons rescued by Navy warship

Pigeons on ship
The pigeons flew onto the deck of HMS Diamond Credit: Royal Navy

A Royal Navy warship has rescued two exhausted racing pigeons after they landed on the ship at sea.

The pigeons, nicknamed Gregory Peck and Sir Henry Cecil, flew onto the flight deck as HMS Diamond sailed off the coast of Plymouth.

The birds were given sanctuary by the sailors for ten days in a makeshift aviary and used the onboard CCTV as their own Springwatch-style birdcam.

When the ship arrived back in Portsmouth the pigeons were fitted with their own HMS Diamond tag and were then encouraged to fly back to their owner.

Navigating Officer Lieutenant Eleanor Tilley launched the pigeons' rescue after they wouldn't leave the ship.

She said: "Having seen them onboard for a few days, and knowing that the ship was to be at sea for some time, the Bridge team felt obliged to give them a little support to aide them on their way."

Final voyage for HMS Edinburgh

HMS Edinburgh
HMS Edinburgh in Portsmouth Credit: HM Naval Base

The Royal Navy's last Type 42 destroyer, HMS Edinburgh, will return to Portsmouth for the final time on Friday.

The 30-year-old warship has sailed almost 800,000 miles and will be decommissioned on June 6, as the Type 42s are replaced by new Type 45s.

The ship will fly a decommissioning flag on her final return and will be accompanied by HMS Diamond - one of the Navy's successor Type 45s.

A 21-gun salute will be fired from HMS Edinburgh as she approaches the harbour where Fort Blockhouse, Gosport, will respond with a saluting gun.

HMS Edinburgh launched
Launch of HMS Edinburgh at Cammel Laird, Birkenhead Credit: HM Naval Base

The ship returns to Portsmouth after a month-long farewell tour across the UK, which included visits to Liverpool where she was built, her namesake city and London where she helped mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic.

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HMS Diamond starts celebrations with a bang!

The Type 45 Destroyer HMS Diamond will fire a 21 gun salute as she enters Portsmouth's Naval Base later as the city celebrates the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Navy helicopter will perform a special formation display above the city with crew members taking part in a special street party in the docks.

"It is fitting that Her Majesty's Ship Diamond should mark Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee in this way. The Queen's affection for and commitment to the Armed Forces have touched the lives of many servicemen and women and their families over the past 60 years and I am proud that HMS Diamond is helping to launch this special weekend of celebrations across our island nation."

– Fleet Commander, Admiral George Zambellas

HMS Diamond to honour the Queen

HMS Diamond Credit: MOD

Royal Navy warship HMS Diamond will launch the nation’s weekend of jubilee celebrations by honouring the Queen during a spectacular entry in to Portsmouth Naval Base on June 1.

The Type 45 destroyer will fire a 21-gun salute and give three cheers to Her Majesty as the ship enters Portsmouth Harbour at 10.30am while four Navy helicopters perform a flypast over the ship in a diamond formation. The Navy saluting gun overlooking the harbour will fire 21 times in return.

HMS Diamond will be led into the harbour by two Royal Navy patrol vessels – HMS Raider and HMS Blazer. Once the ship is berthed in the Naval Base there will be street party celebrations for the 190 crew and guests on the ship’s flight deck.

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