Nearly three years in charge of HMS Daring came to an end on a Bahrain beach on the back of a camel for Cdr. Phil Dennis. Rather than a sports car or vintage vehicle to whisk him away from his ship for a traditional send-off, his ship’s company arranged for a camel to carry the officer away.
The Type 45 destroyer is at the end of her mid-deployment break, when essential maintenance is carried out to ensure the ship can continue air defence operations in the Middle East into the summer.
The ship’s company and team at ASRY – the Arab Shipbuilding and Repair Yard – where the work was carried out on the Portsmouth-based warship, decided a send-off with a desert theme would be just the ticket for Cdr. Dennis, who took the helm of Daring in May 2014.
So after a clear lower deck to address the 200 men and women under his wing, Cdr. Dennis found the dromedary waiting for him. “It has been my privilege to have been the captain of HMS Daring for well over two and a half years,” Cdr. Dennis said. “I hope that you are as proud of your efforts as I am of you."
The ship’s company formed a “gauntlet of honour” on the beach just outside the ASRY works, applauding Cdr. Dennis as his camel was guided along the sand by an experienced local handler.
Cdr. Marcus Hember, who has previously been in charge of Daring’s younger sister HMS Diamond, is now in charge of D32, where – so the unofficial slogan goes – “dreams come true.”
This article appears courtesy of Royal Navy News, and may be found in its original edition here.