After a six-month deployment to the South Atlantic, including a patrol and exercises in the Falkland Islands, the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Dauntless has returned to her home port in Portsmouth, southern England.
Likewise the RN reported that HMS Edinburgh after calling at Cabo Verde Islands is on its way to her six month deployment in the South Atlantic, which will also include calls at the Falklands and South Georgia Islands.
HMS Dauntless was on South Atlantic patrol on the year of the 30th anniversary of the 1982 Falklands’ war. During her stay in the Falklands the state of the art destroyer interacted with RAF and Army assets in joint exercises.
The Type-45 destroyer maintained a continuous presence “protecting British interests in the region, carrying out maritime security operations off West Africa and the wider South Atlantic”, according to Royal Navy authorities.
In her 38,280 kilometre trip, HMS Dauntless visited 18 countries including African Eastern coast’s nations like Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leona, Senegal, Angola and South Africa. Likewise, it sailed the Caribbean Sea and touched base in the US East Coast.
Her presence also triggered strong reaction from the Argentine government which made claims that HMS Dauntless visit, the most powerful and modern of the RN surface vessels was a provocation particularly on the 30th anniversary of the Falklands’ conflict. The Foreign Office said that her deployment was routine, as has been the South Atlantic patrolling.
The conflict was triggered in April 1982 when Argentine forces invaded the Falklands and occupied them for 74 days until surrendering to a British Task Force.
Meanwhile HMS Edinburgh call at the archipelago off the west coast of Africa was the latest port of call for the ‘Fortress of the Sea’ as she edges her way towards the South Atlantic on her final deployment.
The warship hosted police and coast guards when she stopped in the port of Mindelo on the island of Sao Vicente, in particular the crew of the new cutter Guardiâo, who were briefed on various aspects of life on a RN vessel, from navigation and engineering to boarding techniques.
After walking through the 5.000-tons destroyer, they were called on to board Edinburgh for real as she sailed from Mindelo, demonstrating what they’d learned about the ship, assisted by her boarding officer Lt Graeme Hazelwood.
“Cape Verde’s position gives it a vital role in the control of narcotics into Africa and Europe,” Edinburgh’s Commanding Officer Cdr Nick Borbone explained. “The Royal Navy’s presence in the islands helps to reinforce the importance of the work carried out by the Cape Verde Coast Guard and the Judicial Police.”
After much of the austral summer around the South Atlantic the Portsmouth-based warship will head to the warmer waters of the Caribbean and USA in the latter stages of the deployment. She’s due back in the Solent in March and will formally decommission in the summer.