Royal Navy’s HMS Quorn brought the curtain down on the largest military exercise of 2015 by sending three quarters of a tonne of high explosive to its maker.
Quorn plus half a dozen other minehunters and command ship FGS Donau have been helping to clear a path for some of the 40-plus ships assigned to Baltops 2015 off Denmark and Poland – and to eradicate any mines lying in the approaches to beaches earmarked for amphibious assaults.
It was one of 50 practice mines sown in Baltic waters for NATO’s biggest exercise of the year – and hence the largest exercise yet for Quorn which has been attached to one of the international organisation’s mine warfare forces for three months.
Quorn’s principal role was to render the main traffic routes off the coasts of Poland and Denmark safe; upwards of 50 ‘dummy’ mines had been laid especially for the exercise.
The culmination of the exercise saw Quorn’s mine clearance team diving on a Danish exercise mine (containing explosives equivalent to 775kg of TNT). To destroy the mine and make the waters safe for shipping the divers laid and detonated an explosive charge under the watchful eye of the ship.
Image: Royal Navy