Pictured are friends, families and well-wishers at Round Tower in Portsmouth welcoming HMS Dragon home after her deployment to the Black Sea.

HMS Dragon returned to home Portsmouth on Saturday from her deployment to the Black Sea and the eastern Mediterranean throughout autumn.

Since leaving UK waters in early September, the Type 45 destroyer has been operating as part of the Littoral Readiness Group (Experimentation), also comprising HMS Albion and RFA Lyme Bay. She also spent nearly a month patrolling the Black Sea and training with Ukrainian, Georgian and Romanian vessels in the region.

Affirming her presence in the Black Sea during a time in which many countries have been affected by Covid-19, HMS Dragon applied stringent protection measures in order to ensure that the virus has not compromised her ability to conduct operations.
Her Commanding Officer, Commander Giles Palin, said: “It speaks for volumes for the UK that, despite the challenges wrought by Covid-19, the Royal Navy is still able to provide a reassuring presence to our partners and allies in the Black Sea and eastern Mediterranean.

“HMS Dragon has seen first-hand how favourably our friends in Ukraine, Georgia and Romania view our presence in the region during what is a difficult time given the on-going pandemic.

“But HMS Dragon’s actions to preserve of freedom of navigation, and deterring any adversaries that would challenge, have been felt much further than regional partners: they are just as crucial to both UK and European security.”
Following a successful deployment, HMS Dragon is about to commence a maintenance period before starting sea training in order to remain ready for tasking in 2021.