Two British minehunters have just completed a period of intense weapon and seamanship training in the Persian Gulf.
As part of the UK Mine Counter Measures Force, Her Majesty’s Ships Penzance and Chiddingfold have been conducting patrols to ensure freedom of navigation in the Middle East, a region that includes three of the world’s six maritime chokepoints, since December last year.
The patrols, undertaken while the ship was supporting the 30-nation Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) organisation in the Gulf, provided an opportunity for the crews to practice their gunnery, manoeuvring and communicating drills.
A highlight for both crews was the opportunity to undertake a coordinated gunnery shoot against targets and flares, with both ships engaging their 30mm guns, General Purpose Machine Guns and Mark 44 Miniguns.
The shoot was successful for both ships and proved the ability to conduct a coordinated weapon engagement against those with hostile intent.
The ships also practiced coordinated high speed manoeuvres in order to develop the proficiency of the bridge teams.
Image: Royal Navy