During the 254 days they were deployed to the Middle East in 2016-2017, the crew of HMS Daring achieved unparalleled success on operations which, due to sensitivities at the time, could not be reported openly to the media.
Returning to the UK in May 2017, the British Type 45 destroyer and her crew of 260 men and women of the Royal Navy have been awarded the Hero Overseas - Unit prize at this year's Millies.
According to the judges:
"It took a dedicated crew with strong support from their families to be able to maintain high tempo operations in an ever-changing maritime environment."
The sophisticated Warship deployed with the Royal Navy's latest and most advanced helicopter, the Wildcat.
The world-leading capabilities offered by both ship and aircraft enabled Daring to play a vital role supporting international seafarers when the conflict in war-torn Yemen spilled out into the Southern Red Sea in October 2016.
An Emirati merchant vessel (MV SWIFT) was attacked and destroyed by the rebel Houthi movement in Yemen.
Daring was immediately tasked to head to the Bab El Bandeb straits, one of the world's busiest trade routes, to collect intelligence and provide vital protection to merchants within the region.
They spent 50 days operating in the high threat area, at times well within reach of sophisticated anti-ship missiles and surface attack which would give little or no warning.
Each of the 17 transits of the narrow channel (12 miles long and barely 12 miles wide) required the Ship's Company to be ready to react immediately to any incident as they continually put themselves in the firing line to protect unarmed merchants with the sophisticated defensive weapons.
In total HMS Daring spent 97 hours at Action Stations, with 100% of the crew on watch and ready, providing escort to over 800,000 tonnes of shipping (akin to World War Two convoys), with the remainder of the period in Defence Watches working consecutive eight-hour shifts (50% on watch at all times).
Throughout this demanding period Daring's dedicated team maintained the warfighting and operational capability of the destroyer to keep open the primary trade route for goods and energy to Western economies, preventing significant economic and commercial impact on a global scale and cementing the excellent reputation of the British Royal Navy.
The versatility, professionalism and dedication of HMS Daring and her crew delivering strategic influence and effect on behalf of the UK Government, protecting merchants and seafarers alike in times of danger is why they are nominated for Hero Overseas Unit.
In September 2016, the crew of HMS Daring waved goodbye to their friends and families for a nine-month deployment to the Middle East.
The Type 45 destroyer operated for 50 days in this high-threat region, well within reach of anti-ship missiles.
They spent 97 hours at Action Stations – on watch and ready to react to any attack the rest of the time in Defence Watches.
The actions of the crew of HMS Daring allowed 800,000 tonnes of shipping to pass through the narrow channel, the primary trade route for goods to Western economies, protecting commercial and economic interests on a global scale.
The commanders of the ship ensured all the crew were briefed and informed about their changed mission.
The deployment also saw the new Wildcat Helicopter used extensively for the first time.
Daring’s 260-strong crew were at the time praised for their versatility, professionalism and dedication – delivering protection to merchants and seafarers in a dangerous and volatile region on behalf of the UK Government.