Warship sets sail for Falklands
Crowds of people gathered today to wave off one of the Royal Navy's newest and most powerful warships as it set sail for the Falkland Islands a day before the 30th anniversary of the British task force setting sail for war.
Scores of well-wishers lined the harbour walls as HMS Dauntless, the second of the navy's hi-tech Type 45 air defence destroyers, left its home port of Portsmouth Naval Base for its maiden mission.
The deployment comes amid a continuing war of words over the islands with Argentina's Foreign Ministry yesterday accusing David Cameron of "persistent glorification of colonialism" after the Prime Minister said the UK helped right "a profound wrong" during the 1982 war.
Argentina's president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner used commemorations on the 30th anniversary of the conflict to describe Britain's stance as "ridiculous and absurd". Argentina has also complained to the UN of the UK's "militarisation" of the South Atlantic.
The MoD has said that it is a routine mission with Dauntless taking over the patrols of Plymouth-based frigate HMS Montrose.
The departure comes a day ahead of the anniversary of the first ships of the task group, including the aircraft carriers HMS Hermes and Invincible, sailing from the Hampshire port on April 5, 1982.
John Wilkinson, 67, a retired MoD civil servant, from Southsea, was among those who turned out to see the warship off.
He said: "I think it's a good deployment.
"I was in the Falkland Islands a few weeks ago on a cruise and they are really looking forward to it going down there.
"Some of the population are on edge and it will settle a few nerves.
"It's a £1 billion ship and they have to use it for something or other."
Margaret Morris, 87, from Portsmouth, said: "I just hope there won't be an upset, it was so awful last time with so many people being killed."
Commanding officer Captain Will Warrender said: "HMS Dauntless' ship's company has been working extremely hard over the last year or so to prepare for our first operational deployment.
"We are now ready to provide a reassuring presence in the region and protect British interests."
A Royal Navy spokesman said: "HMS Dauntless is to deploy to the South Atlantic.
"It is a pre-planned and routine deployment to replace Plymouth-based frigate HMS Montrose which is currently there.
"It will be the first deployment for HMS Dauntless."
- 1 Al Pacino on suffering from depression: 'It can last and it's terrifying'
- 2 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Perez Hilton apologises for publishing Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
Jennifer Lawrence 'nude photo hacker' claims there are hundreds more celebrity images to come
Victoria Justice on naked photo leak: 'Let me nip this in the bud right now – pun intended'
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
Ariana Grande nude photos leak: Pictures are completely fake, say representatives
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Maths teachers requir...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Executive Assistant/Event...
£23760 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: The JobAre you a trai...