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HMS Iron Duke Visits

Royal Navy warship HMS Iron Duke

Royal Navy warship HMS Iron Duke is to visit the Cayman Islands again, nearly a year after providing reassurance to Cayman Brac in the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav. The Ship's primary role in the region is to provide reassurance and support to all the UK Overseas Territories, especially during the core hurricane season. Once again Iron Duke will also be part of an International Task Force hunting narcotics traffickers across the Caribbean.

Whilst on a similar deployment last year, in the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav, the Ship's helicopter allowed Governor Stuart Jack and Cayman Brac's District Commissioner to establish quickly the extent of the Hurricane's impact. The Ship stood by to provide first aid and humanitarian assistance which was thankfully not required.

Iron Duke's Commanding Officer, Commander Andrew Stacey said: "It is a real pleasure to be bringing the Ship back to the Cayman Islands, especially as last year the team built such a rapport with the Island's emergency agencies. We are all very much looking forward to the visit."

The Ship will visit the Islands 7-9 July. During the visit Iron Duke will be meeting with civil leaders to increase the Ship's understanding of local arrangements for disaster relief. The Ship will also take part in Exercise Viking Thistle II, working with the Cayman Marine Unit and the Jamaican Defence Forces to further strengthen ties with local authorities.

Alongside her primary Disaster Relief role, Iron Duke also has a United States Coast Guard detachment embarked as much of her time is spent conducting counter narcotics operations and contributing to Maritime Security in the Caribbean. During last year's deployment Iron Duke, working with the US Coast Guard and with Prince William embarked, seized almost a tonne of Cocaine.

About the ship

HMS Iron Duke is one of the most advanced ships in the Royal Navy, carrying an array of weapons and sensors, Vertical Launch Sea Wolf Anti-Air Missiles and a 4.5" Mk 8 gun for shore bombardment. The effectiveness of these ships is enhanced by their stealth design, which reduces their radar signature significantly. She carries a multi-role Mk 3 Lynx Helicopter.

In addition to war fighting, the Ship is trained and equipped to conduct a wide range of tasks. These include embargo operations using boarding teams inserted from the Ship's boats or helicopter, disaster relief work and surveillance operations.