The Navy's flagship, HMS Bulwark, has returned home to Plymouth from a four-month deployment around the Mediterranean and Middle East. Being home for Christmas made today's homecoming even more emotional than normal.
Hundreds of friends and family lined the quayside at Devonport as the Commando carrier came home. It's often an agonising wait for families and crew as gangplanks are eased into place. But with HMS Bulwark's hydraulic ramp they were pouring off in minutes.
The captain's family managed to join the ship in the Sound. He was proud of what his crew had achieved in working with a dozen Navies around the Mediterranian and Indian Ocean, and in visits to ports in Libya and Pakistan.
– Capt Andrew Burns, HMS Bulwark
Having a ship like HMS Bulwark, the Navy's flagship, in a port sends a big message and it is a big statement if the nation's commitment and the nation's commitment to the Middle East in particular which is where most of our deployment has taken place.
Our defence correspondent John Andrews joined family and friends as they greeted their loved ones at Devonport: