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Daring sweeps troubled waters on her first major operation
27 February 2012

Britain’s most advanced warship HMS Daring joined Allied navies in a concerted sweep of troubled waters for her first major operation east of Suez.

The destroyer joined Australian, Pakistani, New Zealand and Yemeni ships and personnel on Operation Scimitar Anzac, which scoured the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and coast of Yemen for illegal activity.

Pictures: LA(Phot) Keith Morgan, HMS Daring

TURNING to begin the recovery of her Lynx helicopter, Britain’s most advanced warship HMS Daring breaks away from an Anglo-Australian-Pakistani task group as a sweep of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden for criminal activity comes to an end.

The Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyer joined Pakistan’s PNS Babur (left) – in days gone by she was HMS Amazon – British tanker RFA Wave Knight (centre) and Australian frigate HMAS Parramatta (right) for Operation Scimitar Anzac.

And for the first time, Daring put her command abilities to the test as she hosted an Australian and New Zealand staff – they’re currently directing the at-sea activities of Combined Task Force 150, to which the Type 45 belongs on her east of Suez mission.

For as well as being able to shoot down incoming missiles travelling at three times the speed of sound, the Portsmouth-based warship has specially-built command facilities, including a dedicated planning room, from where the movements and actions of a task group can be directed.

Daring's Commanding Officer Capt Guy Robinson pores over a chart of the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait - gateway to the Indian Ocean - surrounded by RFA, Pakistani, Australian and New Zealand officers in his ship's planning room

In addition to the command team, Daring – on her maiden deployment – also embarked Yemeni observers, whose contribution proved extremely valuable, providing expertise and in depth knowledge of the region to the ships involved as the group moved around the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Yemen.

The task force also enjoyed the support of tanker Wave Knight, which kept the ships supplied with fuel and stores and also contributed her Lynx helicopter.

“Seeing all of the different nations working together aboard Daring was very encouraging. The in-depth knowledge provided by the Yemenis has also been particularly useful,” said Daring’s PO Lee Butler.

Wave Knight replenishes PNS Babur (left) with HMAS Parramatta on her port beam and HMS Daring following

Capt Lance Cook RNZN, Chief-of-Staff of the embarked command team from CTF150, explained the significance of the operation as he explained that more than 23,000 vessels a year passed through the waters patrolled during Scimitar Anzac.

His task force’s key mission is to stamp out illicit activity – piracy, smuggling, people trafficking – and safeguard mariners going about their lawful business, thus for maintaining stability in the region.