Royal Navy’s HMS Bangor returns home after 3-year deployment

Photo: Royal Navy

Royal Navy’s Scots-based minehunter HMS Bangor (M109) will return to her home port of HM Naval Base Clyde today, on August 31.

For the past three years, HMS Bangor has been operating in the Gulf as part of the UK’s commitment in the region to work with international partners to protect vital shipping lanes.

MCM1 Crew 2 took over HMS Bangor in January 2018 and in March, the ship and her crew joined HMS Cardigan Bay and Ledbury to take part in Khunjar Hadd (‘Sharp Dagger’), an exercise to test the ability of the Omani Navy to work with warships from other navies which operate in the Gulf region.

MCM1 operate a crew rotation system where the ship remains in the region for a number of years with crews being rotated roughly every six months.

As well as clearing mines from the waters off the capital of Muscat, the participants also faced threats in the air, the sea, joint manoeuvres and had to help vessels in distress.

The three British ships joined the American and French navies in the exercise which centred on a fictional scenario, taking place in the Gulf of Oman.

As well as clearing mines from the waters off the capital of Muscat, the participants also faced threats in the air, the sea, joint manoeuvres and had to help vessels in distress.

It was a highly successful exercise which resulted in the threat being neutralised and the minehunter force having provided safe passage in and out of port, according to the navy.

The ship and her crew teamed up with the US again in May when American sailors joined HMS Bangor to take part in a training exercise focused on mine counter measures capabilities.

The crew are now on their way back to Faslane after spending eight months in the Gulf, where they worked very closely with their sister crew on HMS Middleton.

They have transited through the South West Monsoon en route home, testing the ship and the crew, as well as navigating through the Suez Canal and the Bab El Mendab Strait.

HMS Bangor is one of seven Royal Navy mine counter measures vessels (MCMVs) operated by the Faslane-based First Mine Counter Measures Squadron (MCM1).

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