HMS Shoreham Leads Way for French Frigate

HMS Shoreham Leads Way for French Frigate

A Royal Navy ship used her expert minehunting skills to ensure a French warship could safely sail through a narrow and potentially hostile waterway in confined waters off Bahrain as part of a training exercise.

Minehunter HMS Shoreham led the way for the French Lafayette class frigate FNS Aconit to test the ship’s skills in providing safe passage for a deep draught vessel through a potentially mined narrow channel.

Lieutenant Commander Matt Moore, Commanding Officer of HMS Shoreham, said,

“Today’s training provided a great opportunity to enhance our techniques with our allies in addition to practicing the skill of lead-through operations; which is our bread and butter after all.

“I was really impressed with how smoothly and efficiently the exercise progressed. The language barrier made no difference to the execution of what was potentially a complicated evolution.”

These type of exercises are designed to prove the capability of a minehunter in being able to navigate accurately a narrow waterway, while clearing the seabed of all mines. They do this by identifying any contacts detected by the ship’s sophisticated sonar, clearing them if necessary and allowing the vessel behind to follow safely.

After the exercise, Lt Cdr Moore said,

“Bahrain is a friendly nation and we remain ever grateful for their support with our ongoing presence in the Gulf Region.

“The area was the perfect setting to conduct such a serial and we are thankful to the Port Authorities for allowing us to exercise continually in this diverse arena.”

First MCM Crew Eight deployed to HMS Shoreham in early June 2013 and are anticipated to return to the UK in December. This is the first tour for the crew in two years since their return from Libya in 2011, as one of the first MCMVs in the area during Operation Ellamy.

Press Release, October 11, 2013; Image: Royal Navy