Two warships have arrived back in UK waters following a four-month deployment in the western Atlantic.
With grey skies overhead, the Portsmouth-based aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal and Type 42 destroyer HMS Liverpool docked in the Hampshire harbour to cheers from up to 600 well-wishers who came to see the 650 British sailors arrive home.
The mission, known as Exercise Auriga 2010, was designed to demonstrate the UK's ability to deploy, operate and sustain a task group out of area for a prolonged period.
Commanding Officer of HMS Ark Royal, Captain John Clink, said: "Ark Royal as the Carrier Strike Group Flagship has had a successful deployment and it is thanks to the hard work of the ship's company that we have achieved so much."
Defence Secretary, Liam Fox, said that there would be cuts across all the services in a bid to help bring down the budget deficit.
The Royal Navy is generating a sustainable small-scale task group contingency capability in line with MoD policy.