Portsmouth-based HMS Quorn returned home to Portsmouth on July 2nd, after nearly three months deployed on mine-clearance operations in the Baltic Sea.
The Hunt class minehunter has been a part of Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One (SNMCMG1); a taskforce of seven NATO ships assigned to the region to conduct training exercises and clear historic minefields to keep the sea lanes safe for shipping.
The ship officially joined the NATO group in the Clyde estuary, following the group’s participation in Exercise Joint Warrior, from where they departed for the Baltic Sea.
While deployed the ship conducted periods of navigation and seamanship training in the southern Baltic, engaged in live mine disposal in the approaches to Estonia and took part in one of the largest military exercises in the world – BALTOPS 15.
The culmination of the deployment saw Quorn supporting BALTOPS 15, alongside Portsmouth-based Type 23 Frigate HMS Iron Duke and the helicopter carrier HMS Ocean, in an annual military exercise hosted by the Commander United States Naval Forces Europe involving 49 ships from 17 NATO and partner nations.
The exercise, which has run since 1971, is a large scale joint exercise with Naval, Land and Air forces that focuses on Maritime and Amphibious operations. It aims to improve maritime security in the Baltic Sea through partnership working and the sharing of resources.
Quorn, along with her Mine Countermeasures partners was tasked with hunting and clearing exercise minefields prior to follow on amphibious landings, whilst defending herself from air and surface attack.
On completion of the exercise HMS Quorn sailed in company with HMS Iron Duke and HMS Ocean to support Kiel Week, the world’s largest sailing event attracting more than three million visitors a year.
Image: Royal Navy