HMS Ramsey concludes NATO stint

Royal Navy’s mine hunter HMS Ramsey has returned to home waters and its Faslane base after a deployment as part of Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group 1.

Crew seven from the First Mine Counter Measures Squadron (MCM1), who have most recently been operating the Sandown Class vessel, has been training alongside the Irish Navy when, in April, the NATO task group sailed in the company of Irish ship LÉ James Joyce, a Samuel-Beckett class off-shore patrol vessel.

In April 4, HMS Ramsey joined LÉ James Joyce to practice manoeuvres and mailbag transfers on the “snotgreen sea” as Joyce himself once famously called it. The activities highlighted the major strength of the NATO deployment – the chance for members of different navies to gain an appreciation of how others work.

After the Irish ship departed, the NATO task group continued to HM Naval Base Clyde, practising seamanship serials on the way. There was also the opportunity for Ramsey and Norwegian ship the HNLOMS Otra to conduct a towing exercise. It was the ideal opportunity for both the bridge and ship teams to hone their skills. As HMS Ramsey entered Scottish waters, she undertook mine counter measures operations around the Isle of Arran.

Ramsey briefly returned home to HM Naval Base Clyde on April 7. It was a short stop-over for the mine hunter; just three days later she and the NATO task group sailed once again to participate in one of the biggest military exercises in Europe – Exercise Joint Warrior. Over the next fortnight the task group operated off the west coast of Scotland practicing a huge variety of skills needed on the modern maritime battlefield.

The crew of HMS Ramsey were involved in several air defence exercises which also tested their ability to deal with internal damage to the vessel. Hawk jets were used to simulate incoming attacks with Ramsay coordinating with Dutch Frigate HNLMS Wilemoses to see off the threat.

Having completed Exercise Joint Warrior, Ramsey and her crew properly returned home to Faslane, Scotland.