HMS Ledbury Completes Its Minehunting Mission in the Mediterranean

HMS Ledbury Completes Its Minehunting Mission in the Mediterranean

Portsmouth based warship HMS Ledbury will return home today after spending six months working alongside NATO counterparts in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Hunt Class minehunter and her 42 crew sailed in early January. Since then Ledbury has clocked up 12,000 nautical miles and spent her time operating with NATO’s permanent mine countermeasures group, assisting with the task of clearing the Mediterranean of historic ordnance left from the World Wars and more recent conflicts and to conduct a series of exercises.

The ship and her crew have sailed around most of the Mediterranean in their six-month deployment visiting 18 ports in 8 countries including Malta, Sicily, Croatia, Spain, Portugal and Italy. There were also two visits to key North African countries as part of NATO’s role in the Mediterranean.

During recent training off the coast of Sardinia, HMS Ledbury worked with Italian counterparts to destroy a live World War II German sea mine that had been spotted by Ledbury’s skilled operators using the ship’s sophisticated sonar at a depth of 43 metres. The ship’s remote controlled mini submarine Seafox was used to beam live video back to the ship, enabling mine clearance divers to detonate the aged ordnance safely.

Lieutenant Commander Tony Williams Royal Navy, Commanding Officer of HMS Ledbury said:

“I am very proud of the efforts of my Crew who have unrelentingly displayed their professionalism and fortitude from the moment we started preparing for this deployment over a year ago. The deployment has been challenging but very rewarding and I am particularly proud of my teams efforts in finding and destroying the mine off Sardinia.

“My crew and I would like to thank all those who have supported us during this deployment and we are all very glad to be coming home to our families after such a long time away.”

Naval Today Staff , June 29, 2012; Image:Royal Navy