Although it is sad to be leaving friends and family for deployment, having completed a substantial work up and training period, we are looking forward to getting out and doing the job we are ready for.

Lieutenant Commander Maryla Ingham RN

Four of the Navy's minehunters are a permanent presence in the Gulf demonstrating the UK’s continued commitment to enduring peace and stability in the region.

The current crew took charge of the Hunt-class vessel at the beginning of 2015. 

Since joining they have put the ship though intensive operational sea training in preparation for deployment, taken part in Exercise Joint Warrior and made visits to London and various ports around Scotland.

Middleton’s crew will work alongside the UK and international navies conducting maritime security patrols and exercises to ensure the safe flow of trade and oil in the area.

Her Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Maryla Ingham, said: “Although it is sad to be leaving friends and family for deployment, having completed a substantial work up and training period, we are looking forward to getting out and doing the job we are ready for.”

Chef Alex Tug Wilson said: “I am really looking forward to the deployment.

“This will be my second trip to the Gulf and it will be nice to have the experience of being part of a team that has taken a minehunter all the way to Bahrain.”

The Hunt-class live up to their name by using high definition sonar to detect and investigate the seabed for mines and lost explosives, which are then destroyed by the ship's clearance diving teams or the Sea-fox remote underwater mine-disposal system.

Temperatures in the Gulf in high summer typically reach well into the 40s Celsius – and never get cooler than about 30.

HMS Middleton is one of the Navy’s fifteen mine countermeasures vessels. Eight are based in Portsmouth.

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