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NAVY NEWS, SEPTEMBER 2009 11
Daring by spirit
DARING likes a dramatic
should be a ‘force for good’ in the world.
backdrop.
The ship’s sponsor, the Countess of
When she was launched on a cold
Wessex, told the assembled guests she
February morning in 2006 at Scoutstoun
was immensely proud of Daring whose
on the Clyde, her sponsor the Countess of
progress she had followed since the
Wessex recalls: “Those of us who watched
destroyer’s launch.
held our breath, waiting to see if she would
She told the ship’s company: “Through
stop before hitting the bank on the other
teamwork you can undertake any challenge,
side.”
always confi dent of the support provided
When she entered her home port of
by your families and friends.
Portsmouth on a bitterly cold, rainswept
“But it is down to you. And if you ever
January day, the waiting crowds scanned
doubt, then remember who you are. You
the horizon in vain to see her.
are ‘Daring.’ Daring by name, Daring by
Daring was lost in clouds of thick
spirit and Daring in deed.”
grey fog – and then, suddenly, there she
After the religious ceremony of the
was, looming through the mist t like like a a
commissioning, a Typhoon from 11 Sqn
futuristic stealth ship she is.
and a Sentrand a Sent y E3D from 23 Sqn, the ship’s
Six months on, the guests at
affiaffi liated RAF squadrons, staged
her commissioning might have
a fla ypast, and the Countess
expected a cloudless sunny
boarded the ship before joining b
July day (always the triumph
a reception for guests on the a
of hope over experience in an
jettyje .
English summer).
Among the guests were
Instead they watched the he
veterans of the HMS Dare ing
ceremony on Victory Jetty under
Association and from her other
a suitably Turner-esque sky, with black
affi liates which include Birmingham,
clouds shot through with sudden bursts of
Guernsey, the Royal Dragoon Guards, the
brilliant sunshine.
Carpenters’ Company, the 4th Knowle
However, the heavy rain which
Sea Scout Group and the D-Boats
threatened held off while the ship was
Association.
christened and became the Navy’s fi rst
Capt McAlpine said: “We are a maritime
Type 45 destroyer to enter service.
nation and we rely for our prosperity on
The date – 23rd of July – is an important
keeping our sea lanes open and defended
one in the annals of the Royal Navy,
by the Royal Navy.
as Commanding Offi cer Capt Paddy
“Daring will continue to supply that
McAlpine pointed out.
security, with an air defence umbrella
“We are steeped in navy history here,”
unsurpassed by any navy in the world
he said. “In front of us is the Navy’s newest
today.”
warship, and behind us is HMS Victory,
The next task for the Navy’s newest
whose keel was laid down on 23rd July
destroyer, said Capt McAlpine, was to get
1759 – exactly 250 years ago today.”
ready for exercises with aircraft carriers
The 23rd of July was also the 17th
and amphibious task groups, and to
birthday of AB Daniel Small, from
prepare for FOST later this year.
Glasgow, who as Daring’s youngest rating
“The next few months are going to be
was selected to cut the commissioning cake
spent training, training, training,” he said.
along with Capt McAlpine’s wife, Janette.
Capt McAlpine added: “I am so
The Chaplain of the Fleet, the Venerable
fortunate to have this command. I am
John Green, who conducted the service,
enjoying every single moment of being
asked for God’s blessing on the ship and
CO, and every day I fi nd something new
her company.
in this ship I am delighted with.”
He said HMS Daring was a superb ● The Countess of Wessex inspects
ship with the capabilities to be an effi cient Daring’s ship’s company during the
killing machine, but what mattered was destroyer’s commissioning ceremony
not just projection of force, but that she Picture: LA(Phot) Christopher Browne, FRPU East
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