UK: HMS Atherstone Sets Sail for Three Year Deployment

HMS Atherstone Sets Sail for Three Year Deployment

Portsmouth-based minehunter HMS Atherstone sailed for a three year deployment to the Gulf region. Atherstone’s primary role is mine hunting and disposal, a discipline in which the Royal Navy has a world leading reputation.

The United Kingdom keeps a number of Mine Counter Measure 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.

HMS Atherstone has just completed an intense three month training period in Scotland to prepare for the deployment. , which has included internal exercises, often in demanding confined navigational waters, to ensure every aspect of the ship’s capability was examined.

The ship is capable of operating alone or as part of a NATO or coalition task-group, across the full spectrum of naval operations, from its core role of mine counter-measures to rendering lifesaving assistance to a distressed vessel or supporting humanitarian aid or disaster relief operations.

The training conducted by HMS Atherstone supports her wider roles and responsibilities within the Royal Navy. The deployment to the Middle East is just one part of the Royal Navy’s commitment to international maritime security.

Lt Cdr Justin Hains, Commanding Officer, said:

“The Royal Navy is justifiably proud of its world-class mine counter-measures 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.”

Naval Today Staff , May 31, 2012; Image: Royal Navy