The crew has been really been looking forward to moving back on-board Bangor and becoming her ship’s company once again.

Lieutenant Commander Mike Carter Quinn RN

Although dwarfed by HMS Queen Elizabeth in the dock a few yards away, she now proudly flies the White Ensign again and is being readied for her return to sea in June.

And the ship also has a special new addition – a ship’s motto. HMS Bangor was one of a small number of Her Majesty’s Ships not to have been granted a ship’s motto when launched.

Given the opportunity to propose a motto to the Ship’s Crest’s and Naming Committee, the ship’s company looked to Bangor’s strong affiliation links to the town of Bangor, Northern Ireland.

First thoughts turned to the motto of HMS Nestor, the torpedo destroyer commanded at the Battle of Jutland by Commander (later Admiral) Bingham Royal Navy, a cherished native of the town and recipient of the Victoria Cross for his valour and bravery during the battle.

Sadly Nestor, like the first HMS Bangor, a World War II era mine-sweeper, also lacked a ship’s motto. 

The Battle of Jutland connection then led to HMS Caroline, the surviving cruiser now berthed in Belfast. On top of the various links, her motto perfectly captured the spirit of HMS Bangor and her new ship’s company – Tenax Propositi – meaning ‘Tenacious of Purpose’.

The motto has been formally adopted and, as Bangor prepares to return to sea for post-refit trials, perfectly captures the mood on-board. 

Whilst Babcock Marine have been busy renewing and refurbishing the ship, it has been all change for her ship’s company.

Following spells in HMS Pembroke and latterly HMS Shoreham in the Gulf, First Mine Countermeasures (MCM) Squadron Crew 8 has come full circle and returned to the ship in which they served during Operation Unified Protector off the coast of Libya in 2011.

Unusually for the MCM community, Crew 8 will remain as Bangor’s ship’s company for the next 18 months as she conducts UK-based operations and regeneration for deployment East of Suez.

For the new members of Crew 8 the extended period of time they will spend in Bangor is particularly exciting.

The new Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Mike Carter Quinn, said: “The crew has been really been looking forward to moving back on-board Bangor and becoming her ship’s company once again.

“I’m enormously proud of how they have worked tirelessly, both as individuals and as team, to pass through the various inspections and move on-board. Knowing that Bangor is now our home for the next 18 months is really driving everyone to ensure that she is absolutely at her best as she returns to operational duties.”

The time spent ashore in Rosyth has also allowed Crew 8 to re-balance work and home lives after a busy six-month tour East of Suez, enjoying sport, adventurous training and additional leave.

Leading Seaman Communications, Information and Systems (LSCIS) Neal Carmon is one of those who has taken full advantage of the opportunities.

Neal and his wife Natalie had a baby girl Emilee, two weeks prior to the crew flying out to the Gulf last June and faced common difficulties with regards to managing home and work life. 

He said, “Emilee was born very close to me deploying which made leaving harder than usual, but Natalie and I made use of every opportunity that we could to be together as a family and with her flying to Dubai and me getting time off to get home we made it work.

“Since I’ve been back in the UK I’ve had more time to be at home and take extra leave. We’ve all bonded as a family and we’re now planning Emilee’s 1st birthday.”

Crew 8 are one of the eight crews within the First Mine Countermeasures Squadron, based in Faslane.

The eight crews rotate through seven Sandown Class Mine Countermeasures Vessels, with the eighth crew kept on alert, allowing them harmony time and the opportunity to attend career progression courses.

Sandown Class MCM Vessels are versatile units deployed in the Northern Gulf, as part of NATO operations and around the UK coastline clearing waterways of historical ordnance and available for UK tasking.

MCM1 Crew 8 deployed to HMS Shoreham in early June 2013 and returned to the UK in December. It was the first tour for the crew in two years since their return from Libya in 2011 as one of the first MCMVs in the area during Op Ellamy.

HMNB Clyde

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