BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Saturday November 29, 2014 – Royal Navy warship HMS Iron Duke arrived in Bridgetown, Barbados on 28 November while on her return from a six-month deployment in the South Atlantic.
The Type 23 frigate docked at the port of Bridgetown where she hosted a reception and demonstrated the warship’s capabilities. Her sailors also took part in sporting activities, playing rugby and football against local teams.
The Commanding Officer of HMS Iron Duke Commander Tom Tredray said:
“The visit to Bridgetown has been eagerly awaited by the Ship’s Company. It offers a great opportunity for the crew to relax and enjoy a short rest from her operational duties before completing the final leg of our return journey back to the UK. I know that the football and rugby teams are also keen to take to the pitch for the last time on this deployment.”
The visit is part of the ship’s wider regional engagement with UK partner nations in Africa and the Caribbean following her recent work in the South Atlantic to maintain the continuous Royal Naval presence in the region.
HMS Iron Duke deployed from her home port of Portsmouth in June with a brand new radar – known as RT997 – as well as an updated missile system and IT system. She also has a Lynx Mark 8 helicopter embarked – a highly versatile aircraft that can support the ship in a number of different roles, from casualty evacuations to spotting pirates and illegal fishing.
She is due to return to the UK in December.
The current HMS Iron Duke, launched in 1991, is the third ship to bear the name. The first was built in 1870 and was one of the first ‘iron’ clad ships, hence the name. The second HMS Iron Duke was the flagship of the Royal Navy’s ‘Grand Fleet’ and from her bridge on 31 May 1916, Admiral Jellicoe directed the Battle of Jutland; the greatest clash of warships ever witnessed in European waters.
There are 193 sailors on board, each with their own specific role from maintaining the Ship’s engines and equipment to cooking meals for every member onboard. The motto of Iron Duke is Virtutis Fortuna Comes which is latin for “Fortune is the companion of valour”. This was inherited from her namesake, The Duke of Wellington’s, 33rd Regiment of Foot.