Leading Seaman Kyle Broomhead didn’t quite get the reaction he had hoped for when he kissed his six-month-old daughter Phoebe after returning from deployment aboard HMS Edinburgh.
The 29-year-old, from Barnsley, sailed into Portsmouth on the Royal Navy’s last remaining Type 42 destroyer, where he was met by his wife Natasha, Phoebe and son Rueben, two.
He said: “It’s great to be back and to see the little ones.”
Mrs Broomhead, 25, added: “It’s brilliant to have him back. She was still tiny when he left and it is hard looking after the both of them so I’m looking forward to a lie in.”
HMS Edinburgh, which is 30 years old, has spent the last six months patrolling the Atlantic and will be decommissioned in June, having clocked up 793,345 miles.
The Type 42s are being sold or scrapped and will be replaced by the new-generation Type 45 version.
Edinburgh left her home port of Portsmouth in September for routine operations across the North and South Atlantic in support of British interests worldwide.
She carried out maritime security operations around the British South Atlantic Islands and supported counter narcotics efforts off West Africa.
The deployment also included several exotic goodwill port visits in South Africa, the Caribbean and the Americas.
Commander Nick Borbone, Edinburgh’s commanding officer, said: “Returning home after a long period of operations is always a special event and, as the ship’s company is reunited with families and friends after six months away, they can reflect on a job well done and take some well deserved leave.
“However, as this also marks the end of the operational life of the Type 42 destroyer, this deployment has been particularly poignant for all of us on board.”