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24 May 2010, 09:26
A Royal Navy Type 42 destroyer will leave Portsmouth today (Monday 24th May) to head for the Caribbean on a seven-month disaster relief and counter-narcotics deployment.
HMS Manchester will sail to the Northern Atlantic where there are a number of UK overseas territories, Commonwealth and friendly nations where the ship will act as a reassuring presence and also a deterrent to any potential aggressors.
She will also work on counter-drugs operations and is on hand to help with humanitarian disasters, particularly in the event of hurricanes, should they occur in the region.
The Commanding Officer of HMS Manchester, Commander Rex Cox, said: "HMS Manchester is deploying to the Caribbean region to work as part of a multinational maritime counter narcotics task force. My ship's company have been well trained to conduct this counter-narcotics tasking and are also fully prepared to react as required to any contingent disaster relief operation and to support the UK overseas territories."
As the ship leaves Portsmouth, the Buglers and Drums of the Light Infantry will play from the Round Tower among crowds of well-wishers, families and friends. The Lord Mayor of Manchester Councillor Mark Hackett and Rear Admiral Tom Cunningham Chief of Staff (Aviation) will also be among the dignitaries wishing HMS Manchester farewell.