A support ship to the Royal Navy is to return to Portland after six months on duty.

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) tanker Wave Ruler is due to berth in Portland Port on January 8 from a successful deployment to the Gulf.

RFA Wave Ruler’s commanding officer Captain Robert Allan said: “This has been a particularly successful deployment and it wouldn’t have been possible without the support and understanding from those ashore in HQs and our families and friends.

“Wave Ruler has spent Christmas and is due to spend New Year at sea, a first for many, and we are all looking forward to spending some time with families and friends.” The 31,000-tonne tanker has repeatedly covered the entire Gulf operating area – from the waters off Bahrain in the north, Aden in the west and Mogadishu in the south.

The tanker carried out 52 refuelling operations at sea to coalition ships from 14 nations transferring 14,000 tons of fuel and delivered stores and other vital supplies.

The ship’s day-to-day mission east of Suez was directed by the United States logistic force commander who is responsible for naval support operations in that area.

During a visit to RFA Wave Ruler the head of the logistic force, Commodore Robert P Gonzales told the ship’s company: “It was a pleasure to be onboard to thank personally the ship’s company for their outstanding service, flexibility and proactive approach.” RFA Wave Ruler left RFA Fort Victoria on Christmas Eve and started the journey home, passing through the Suez canal.