UKHMS Dragon joins the fleet

HMS Drag­on, the fourth of the Roy­al Navy’s new pow­er­ful Type 45 destroy­ers, was for­mal­ly com­mis­sioned into the fleet on Fri­day.

HMS Drag­on (stock image) [Pic­ture: LA(Phot) Chris Mum­by, Crown Copyright/MOD 2012]
Source: Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

Hun­dreds of guests includ­ing fam­i­lies of the 190-strong ship’s com­pa­ny attend­ed a colour­ful ‘chris­ten­ing’ cer­e­mo­ny at Portsmouth Naval Base which marked the ship’s tran­si­tion into front line ser­vice.

Reflect­ing her strong Welsh con­nec­tions — the ship is affil­i­at­ed to the city of Cardiff, among the prin­ci­pal guests was the Sec­re­tary of State for Wales, Cheryl Gillan.

Also present were Susie Boissier — the ship’s spon­sor who launched the ves­sel at BAE Sys­tems’ Gov­an ship­yard on the Riv­er Clyde in Novem­ber 2008 — and the Sec­ond Sea Lord, Vice Admi­ral Charles Mont­gomery.

The cer­e­mo­ny was con­duct­ed by the Ven­er­a­ble Scott Brown, Chap­lain of the Fleet.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the ship’s affil­i­at­ed city of Cardiff were also present.

Com­man­der Dar­ren Hous­ton, Dragon’s Com­mand­ing Offi­cer, said the event was a proud moment for all on board:

“This very spe­cial day marks the end of our tri­als phase and the tran­si­tion to front line ser­vice.

“There­after the empha­sis will be on com­bat readi­ness in prepa­ra­tion for our first deploy­ment next year. I am very pleased that so many fam­i­lies, friends and affil­i­ates were part of our momen­tous day.”

The cer­e­mo­ny was round­ed off in tra­di­tion­al Roy­al Navy fash­ion with the cut­ting of a com­mis­sion­ing cake. Per­form­ing the hon­our were the Com­mand­ing Officer’s wife, Liesl, and Engi­neer­ing Tech­ni­cian Mark Sol­diew, aged 18, the youngest mem­ber of the ship’s com­pa­ny.

HMS Drag­on is the fourth of six Type 45 destroy­ers being built for the Roy­al Navy. All will be based in Portsmouth. The first, HMS Dar­ing, was com­mis­sioned in July 2009 and the fifth, Defend­er, is due to arrive in Portsmouth for the first time this sum­mer. All six are sched­uled to be in ser­vice by the mid­dle of the decade.

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK