UK — Navy minehunters sail for Gulf

Roy­al Navy mine­hunters HMS Shore­ham and HMS Ather­stone set sail this week for three-year deploy­ments to the Gulf region.

Hunt Class mine coun­ter­mea­sures ves­sel HMS Ather­stone sails from Portsmouth on a three-year deploy­ment to the Gulf region [Pic­ture: Lead­ing Air­man (Pho­tog­ra­ph­er) Ben Sut­ton, Crown Copyright/MOD 2012]
Source: Min­istry of Defence, UK
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“The team con­tributes on a dai­ly basis to the main­te­nance of a sta­ble and safe mar­itime envi­ron­ment, which is vital to our nation’s secu­ri­ty and pros­per­i­ty.”
Lieu­tenant Com­man­der Justin Hains

The two ships will join the UK task force based in the Gulf. Sandown Class HMS Shore­ham left her home port of HM Naval Base Clyde on Mon­day, 28 May, while Hunt Class HMS Ather­stone left her home of Portsmouth on Wednes­day, 30 May. 

En route the two ships will oper­ate togeth­er in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, giv­ing sup­port to a multi­na­tion­al task force pro­vid­ing secu­ri­ty in the trou­bled waters. 

Sail­ing HMS Shore­ham is the Faslane-based First Mine Coun­ter­mea­sures Squadron’s Crew 4; 38 sailors who will see the ves­sel safe­ly to her des­ti­na­tion dur­ing the two-month voyage. 

The crew is due to fly back to the UK at the end of the year, but the ship will remain in the Gulf for around three years, alter­nat­ing crews. 

The Com­mand­ing Offi­cer of HMS Shore­ham, Lieu­tenant Com­man­der (Lt Cdr) Toby Shaugh­nessy, said: 

“Sail­ing today marks the cul­mi­na­tion of a great deal of hard work and prepa­ra­tion by my ship’s company. 

“Deploy­ing from friends and loved ones for such a long time is always tough, but we eager­ly antic­i­pate the chal­lenges that the deploy­ment will present.” 

Once at their des­ti­na­tion, both Shore­ham and Ather­stone will relieve sis­ter ships. 

Lt Cdr Justin Hains, Com­mand­ing Offi­cer of HMS Ather­stone, said: 

“The Roy­al Navy is jus­ti­fi­ably proud of its world-class mine coun­ter­mea­sures capability. 

“Our ships are fit­ted with mod­ern weapon sys­tems, oper­at­ed by high­ly trained and moti­vat­ed personnel. 

“Through­out our train­ing we have demon­strat­ed our capa­bil­i­ty and resilience. 

“Whether oper­at­ing in UK waters or deployed abroad, the team con­tributes on a dai­ly basis to the main­te­nance of a sta­ble and safe mar­itime envi­ron­ment, which is vital to our nation’s secu­ri­ty and prosperity.” 

The Unit­ed King­dom keeps a num­ber of mine coun­ter­mea­sures ves­sels based in Bahrain, as the local envi­ron­ment allows them to per­form key train­ing in the warmer and more chal­leng­ing waters found in the Gulf. 

All Roy­al Navy ves­sels in the region also work in close part­ner­ship with region­al navies in order to ensure mar­itime secu­ri­ty and sta­bil­i­ty, so that com­mer­cial ship­ping and fish­ing take place in a safe environment. 

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK 

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