RN Minehunter HMS Middleton Joins Remembrance Day Observance

RN Minehunter HMS Middleton Joins Remembrance Day Observance

Royal Navy minehunter HMS Middleton has arrived in London ahead of Remembrance Sunday to take part in commemorative events across the capital.

The Portsmouth-based ship sailed along the Thames and under Tower Bridge on November 8 as she arrived to berth alongside iconic Second World warship HMS Belfast.

During her five-day stay, the ship’s company will host a reception and capability demonstration Thursday and Friday, for invited dignitaries, business leaders and MPs.

On Sunday November 11, three groups of the ship’s company, led by an officer, will be present at Remembrance Sunday events at Southwark Cathedral, Greenwich and St Anne’s in Limehouse.

Meanwhile, the ship’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Steve Higham, accompanied by an exchange officer from the Chilean navy, Lieutenant Carlos Pino, will be at St Paul’s Cathedral where the CO will be laying a wreath.

Lt Pino has joined as part of a strengthening of international relations and a long standing commitment the Royal Navy has with Chile.

Lt Cdr Higham said, “It is an enormous honour to visit the capital and berth outboard of HMS Belfast; especially as we gather to remember those who have served the country before us.

“With HMS Middleton recently returning from the Arabian Gulf after three years on station, this visit will also give us the opportunity to update MPs, Peers and business leaders on the vital role the Royal Navy, and in particular the Mine Counter Measures vessels (MCMV), has in protecting Britain’s vital economic and security interests around the globe.”

MCMV crews rotate around the eight ships in the 2nd Mine Countermeasures Squadron – including spending time on operations in the vessels stationed in the Arabian Gulf.

HMS Middleton is 60 metres long with a beam of 10m and is the largest warship ever constructed from glass reinforced plastic.

The ship carries a crew of 45, many of them clearance divers whose job it is to swim to mines in order to place explosives; however, the ship also has a mine disposal system consisting of a remote controlled submersible.

The ship also has a 30mm gun, two general purpose machine gun positions as well as two rapid firing Gattling-style machine guns for self defence, making her a versatile vessel capable of re-deploying as a patrol craft should the need arise.

Naval Today Staff, November 9, 2012; Image: RN