UK Minehunters Visit Aqaba in Jordan

UK minehunters HMS Chiddingfold and HMS Grimsby visited Aqaba in Jordan to round off a three-year deployment.

The ships have been working in the Arabian Gulf since 2008 as part of a permanent Royal Navy presence.

The visit to the Middle East country was an opportunity for the Royal Navy to cement a strong relationship with the Royal Jordanian Naval Force.

In Muscat, Oman the two ships had embarked a junior officer from the Royal Jordanian Naval Force for navigation training.

Lt Jim Way, the Navigating Officer of HMS Chiddingfold, said: “It was a real pleasure to have Ensign Ja’far onboard with us.

“He showed a great deal of interest in how we operate warships as well as giving us a bit of a taste for how things are done by the Royal Jordanian Naval Force.”

In Jordan some members of the Ships’ Companies visited the ancient city of Petra while the two commanding officers toured the Jordanian Naval Base.

Commodore Tim Fraser, Commander United Kingdom Maritime Component Commander (UKMCC) Bahrain, was at an evening reception as Jordan and her waters are included in the Joint Area of Operations (JOA) for which UKMCC Bahrain has responsibility.

On sailing from the Naval Base, Chiddingfold and Grimsby carried out a manoeuvring exercise with one of the Jordanian patrol craft.

Lt Cdr Charles Maynard, Commanding Officer of HMS Chiddingfold, said:

“Jordan is a cherished regional partner and visits like this are important to strengthen and build upon our existing relationship.”

“The Jordanians could not have done more for us; their hospitality has been second to none.”

Chiddingfold is one of eight Hunt Class MCMVs in the Royal Navy of which two are permanently based in Bahrain. She weighes 600 tonnes, has a top speed of 14 knots and has a Ship’s Company of 45.

Meanwhile HMS Quorn has started her duties in the area. She arrived last month after a two-month transit from the UK covering 6,500 miles, two oceans, three seas and eleven ports.

The Portsmouth-based Minehunter has relieved HMS Chiddingfold, and will operate for the next three years conducting Maritime Security Operations (MSO) and training with the UK’s regional partners and coalition nations.

HMS Quorn’s Commanding Officer, Lt Cdr Phil Dennis said:

“It is a great sense of accomplishment for us to have arrived in the Arabian Gulf. However, the real work begins now that we have taken our place within the UK MCM Force.”


Source: royalnavy, August 8, 2011;