UK: HMS Blyth Takes Part in Regional Forces West Exercise
- Training & Education
After a necessary period of maintenance in base port and a period of summer leave, HMS Blyth and her Ship’s Company sailed from HMNB Clyde on the 26th August bound for the Bournemouth Air Festival and the Regional Forces West Exercise 2013.
HMS Blyth joined a number of other Royal Navy warships including HMS Northumberland, HMS Mersey and HMS Brocklesby along with URNU vessels HMS Blazer and HMS Smiter.
The Exercise objectives centred on recruiting, influence and training whilst providing a naval backdrop to the air festival itself.
Commodore Jamie Miller CBE RN, Naval Regional Commander (Wales, Western England) said:
“HMS Blyth was re-tasked at short notice from her long planned support to the Dartmouth Regatta.
“She re-focussed swiftly and played a starring role in the daily amphibious demonstration with impressive and very close inshore manoeuvring in a display area surrounded by at least 980 yachts.”
Blyth committed 2 of her Mine Clearance Divers in a reconnaissance role prior to the Royal Marine assault.
Next, HMS Blyth herself maneuvered in close to the beach and with the support of HMS Northumberland’s Merlin helicopter and RM sniper team staged an interdiction operation against a “pirate vessel” portrayed by HMS Smiter.
As well as training Sea Cadets during the event, HMS Blyth and her crew were privileged to host a wide range of VIP’s including the Minister for International Security Strategy, Dr Andrew Murrison MP, Commander Maritime Operations, Rear Admiral Matt Parr RN, Commandant Joint Services Command College, Rear Admiral James Morse RN, and Bournemouth MPs, Tobias Ellwood and Conor Burns.
Commodore Miller added:
“The dynamic role demonstration for the VIP parties was the best of its kind I have seen in recent years.”
A gun salute from HMS Northumberland and a RN formation sail pass drew the event to a close for another year.
In summary, a very busy and successful weekend for HMS Blyth and her crew with over 1.3 million people seeing her in action.
She now returns to Scotland for a concentrated period of pre-deployment operational training.
Press Release, September 9, 2013; Image: Royal Navy