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Protecting our Nation's Interests

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        HMS Atherstone

        HMS Atherstone

        Minehunter HMS Atherstone is one of eight Hunt Class mine countermeasures ships based in Portsmouth. Built by Vosper Thornycroft, Atherstone (known affectionately as the Crazy A) was launched in March 1986.

        MCM2 Crew 2 joined HMS Atherstone in December 2013; fully mission capable and ready to protect our nation's interests, anywhere, anytime.

        Lt David Starkey RN, Executive Officer, HMS Atherstone
        Athertson sets sail for a 3 year deployment.

        She is currently deployed in the Gulf, alongside sister Hunt HMS Quorn, and Sandowns HMS Shoreham and Ramsey. Royal Navy minehunters have been maintaining a continual presence in the Gulf, safeguarding the local waters for the benefit of all maritime vessels.

        During that time, some 2,000 crew, 200 mine-warfare battle staff and more than 400 engineers have been rotated through the minehunting community that man the Naval ships and specialist staff based in Bahrain.

        COMMANDING OFFICER

        Andy Smith

        RANK:
        Lieutenant Commander
        JOINED:
        1997
        SPECIALISATION:
        Warfare
        PREVIOUS UNITS:
        HMS Trumpeter, HMS Lancaster
        Military experience

        Andy Smith was educated at Durham University where he graduated in Economics before joining the Royal Navy as a Direct Graduate Entrant Seaman Officer in 1997.

        After initial training at Britannia Royal Naval College and in HM Ships Coventry, Glasgow and Middleton, early appointments included HMS Newcastle as an Officer of the Watch and HMS Lindisfarne as Navigating Officer.

        In 2003 he joined HMS Gloucester as Navigating Officer. During this time, he deployed to the Gulf and Indian Ocean escorting the French Navy’s nuclear powered aircraft carrier FS Charles De Gaulles and subsequently to the Falklands and South Georgia as part of the Atlantic Patrol Task (South).

        Taking command of HMS Trumpeter and Bristol University Royal Navy Unit in 2005, he was responsible for instructing students from Bristol and Bath on the need of and role for the Royal Navy both ashore and at sea during deployments around Northern Europe.

        After PWO Course in 2008 he joined HMS Lancaster and completed two East of Suez Deployments in support of Operations Telic and Calash. During the Calash deployment, Lancaster was involved in the disruption of 3 Pirate Attack Groups and the detention and subsequent successful prosecution of pirates responsible for an attack on a UK-registered car carrier.

        In 2010 he joined PJHQ J3, where he worked as a Desk Officer on both the Middle East and Afghanistan Operations Teams.

        Andy took command of HMS Cattistock and Crew 2 of the Second Mine Countermeasures Squadron in July 2013.

        He lives in Hampshire with his wife Kate and his hobbies include road cycling and duathlon. His other interests include military history, skiing and rugby.


        LATEST NEWS

         

        TOP STORIES

        Major mine test for five of Royal Navy's ships in the Gulf
        Major mine test for five of Royal Navy's ships in the Gulf
        11 March 2014

        Five of the Royal Navy's vessels patrolling the Gulf –...

        One hundred tour Bahrain based minehunter
        27 January 2014

        More than 100 visitors were invited onboard the Bahrain based...

        Newly arrived MCM crew in Gulf joint exercise
        13 January 2014

        HMS Atherstone’s new crew started their latest Bahrain-based deployment with...

        Wittersham Navy engineer awarded MBE
        Wittersham Navy engineer awarded MBE
        01 January 2014

        A Royal Navy engineer from Wittersham who played a pivotal...

        OPERATIONS

        Operation Gulf MCMV

        CURRENT STATUS: active
        image
        MISSION SUMMARY

        In support of wider British efforts in the region, minehunters are providing the capability to conduct route survey, sea-bed clearance, and mine clearance operations all over the Gulf. The operation also aims to provide a visible naval presence in a region where stability and good relations with local nations is vital. Much of the UK’s oil and gas, as well as other products, come from the Gulf region and as such these efforts are of vital importance to our economy and lifestyle.

        ABOUT THE UNIT

        KEY STATISTICS


        Pennant

        M38

        Displacement

        685tonnes

        Complement

        45personnel

        Length

        60Metres

        Beam

        10metres

        Draught

        3.4metres

        Top Speed

        15knots

        Range (Nautical)

        1500miles

        Launch Date

        01/03/86

        Commissioned date

        30/01/87

        Number of Officers

        5

        TAKE A LOOK

        HMS Atherstone

        'The Crazy A'

        UNITS IN TIME


        HMS Atherstone HISTORY

        TRACK THE HISTORY OF SHIPS NAMED HMS Atherstone
        • The First Atherstone

          The Navy has boasted three ships with the name HMS Atherstone, but it was the second which grabbed the lion’s share of the honours. The first – an 810-ton paddle minesweeper – was built in 1916, and worked dutifully around the Firth of Forth and the Humber until being paid off in 1924.

        • The Second Atherstone

          The honourable second Atherstone was the first Type 1 Hunt-class destroyer, launched at Birkenhead in December 1939, she was completed in March 1940. She began her war service escorting convoys between the Orkneys and Clyde, before joining the First Destroyer Flotilla at Portsmouth in August 1940 on convoy escort duties and anti-invasion patrols. Bombed and severely damaged off Ramsgate one month later, she was taken into Chatham for repairs before taking up her coastal convoy escort duties again.

        • Battles

          Atherstone was one of two Hunt-class destroyers that escorted the Coastal Forces craft on their open-sea passages to the daring raid on the German ships at St Nazaire in Operation Chariot. After refit in January 1943, she headed out to join the Mediterranean Fleet, where she was to stay until the end of the war, notching up impressive honours at the invasion of Sicily, the Salerno landings, and escorting convoys around Malta.

        • Final Deployment

          She was among the ships that covered the invasion of the South of France in August 1944. She then operated mainly in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean, with a spell in the Adriatic. She paid off in October 1945.

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