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.

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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