HMS Bangor, HMS Al Jawf practice mine hunting in the Gulf

Two Sandown-class minehunters, one from the Royal Navy, one from the Royal Saudi Navy, recently completed two days of training in the Arabian Gulf.

Royal Navy’s HMS Bangor was on a visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdul Aziz Naval Base (KANB) located 7.5 kilometres (4.7 mi) southeast of Jubail, Saudi Arabia.

During the visit, Bangor trained alongside the ship’s company of HMS Al Jawf and visited Ministry of Defence Armed Forces Projects (MODSAP) personnel, who monitor the supply service that exists between the UK and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

During the exercise period, the Sandown MCMVs trained side by side, conducting minefield lead-throughs, Officer of the Watch Manoeuvres and co-ordinated mine hunting serials.

The ships also exchanged crew members during the exercise in order to improve understanding and cooperation between the two navies.

Able Seaman Fraser Bowman, of HMS Bangor, said: “It was one of the best experiences that I have had in my naval career. To be able to spend a day onboard with our Saudi friends was a real honour. I knew some of them as we trained together at HMS Collingwood, so it was great to see them again in HMS Al Jawf.”

The ship’s company also visited a traditional Bedouin camp in the desert during the exercise, where they were able to meet residents and learn about the traditions of their hosts.

Lieutenant Commander Tom Weaver, Commanding Officer of HMS Bangor, said: “Our Saudi hosts made us feel incredibly welcome. We have a lot more in common than just the Sandown ships we serve in and the members of my crew who spent time on board HMS Al Jawf enjoyed it immensely.”

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