HMS Middleton, HMS Pembroke Return from Gulf

UK Ministry of Defence04.09.2012 Europe
HMS Middleton, HMS Pembroke Return from Gulf

HMS Middleton, HMS Pembroke Return from Gulf

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HMS Middleton and HMS Pembroke have both experienced emotional homecomings after each spending three challenging years on deployment.

Portsmouth gave a heartwarming welcome home to HMS Middleton who has returned from maritime security operations in the Gulf on Friday.

The minehunter was part of a mine countermeasures capability operating out of Bahrain which saw her conducting maritime security operations to reassure regional nations of the UK's commitment to security.

HMS Middleton displayed that commitment through the co-ordination and conduct of exercises and focused operations with other coalition forces and Gulf Cooperation Council nations.

Since January 2012 the current ship's company has often endured temperatures in excess of 50 degrees Celsius and winds of 50mph (80km/h). The testing environmental conditions of the Gulf make it an ideal location to maintain warm water capabilities and develop the expertise necessary to deliver the full range of activities that make up an expeditionary mine countermeasures force.

During the tour the ship took part in several multinational exercises. Most recently, the crew provided force protection to the MV New Delhi Express which had suffered engine failure. Middleton assisted and ensured the safe passage of the MV through the Gulf of Aden and potentially averted a pirate attack.

As the 40 crew members of HMS Middleton have changed every six to eight months, the challenges have been broad and varied:

For the past three years the mine countermeasures vessel has been operating in warm Gulf waters, working alongside multinational forces during operations and exercises in the region.

And for HMS Pembroke the work didn't stop after leaving her base in Bahrain five weeks ago. During her 7,000-mile (11,300km) transit home the vessel was called in to help guard a merchant ship from the threat of piracy in the Gulf of Aden.

HMS Pembroke left her home port of HM Naval Base Clyde in October 2009 and since then has had seven different crews. The Royal Navy operate a crew rotation system on their minehunters, with each deployed for six to seven months at a time.

During her time in the Gulf, HMS Pembroke has been at the forefront of the Royal Navy's mine countermeasures capability in terms of experience, expertise and technology.


Source: UK Ministry of Defence



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