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24 February 2011, 10:14 | Updated: 2 March 2011, 16:45
Royal Navy Type 42 destroyer HMS Manchester -a veteran of the first Gulf War - returned to her Portsmouth home for the last time on February 17.
The 31 year-old vessel - which has clocked up 858,882 nautical miles - is being decommissioned today (24th Feb 2011) as the ageing fleet of Type 42s makes way for the new highly capable Type 45 destroyers.
Manchester's final entry to Portsmouth was her return from her families' day when dozens of relatives of her 260 will crew enjoyed a day at sea and learned more about the Navy. In keeping with Navy tradition she flew a decommissioning pennant.
Her Commanding Officer, Commander Rex Cox, said:
"As we enter Portsmouth for the final time with our decommissioning pennant flying and families onboard, it is appropriate to reflect on what HMS Manchester has achieved. The ship has served the Royal Navy for 30 years and has a fine pedigree that includes seeing active service in the Gulf during Operation Granby; more recently she has been an integral part of counter narcotics operations and hurricane relief in the Caribbean.
"And although she is decommissioning, it is her people that bring the ship to life and as the ship's company move on to other units, the spirit of the "Mighty Manch" will live on."