Without one component we wouldn’t turn smoothly and the responsibilities given to junior members is much greater than on a frigate, destroyer or capital ship

Lieutenant Commander Adrian Visram, HMS Shoreham’s Commanding Officer

Among the highlights of their combined assessment: taking each other in tow (known as a salvage exercise); dealing with a mock riot in a port as the two ships’ gunnery teams fended off fast-attack craft on the water and civilians trying to storm the vessels from the land side; two weeks of continuous minehunting operations, involving frequently ‘bangs’ as the dive team detonated charges; and Leading Diver John Robinson making himself indispensable to almost everything the ship did – 'if he wasn’t diving, he was driving.'

“Operational Sea Training isn’t something you expect to enjoy, and that’s certainly true when you’re tired, but when the team get it right that’s when you enjoy it,” said Shoreham’s navigator Lt Charlotte Boak.

“I don’t think anyone can say they don’t get a buzz when they’ve been told they’ve done well at their job.”

Marine engineer LET Johnny Sulton said sea training “always means the working days are long, but it really amplifies the cohesion of the team.”

Sub Lt Rachel Humphrey – aboard as a trainee young officer – said all 40 sailors “just had to get on with whatever task you are given. We all endure the hardship and get stuck in to help each other out. Our team spirit was a strength throughout.”

Once sea training was completed, Shoreham and Brocklesby were pitchforked into the Royal Navy’s largest war game of the year, for a fortnight of combined training as part of an Anglo-French task group in the waters of western Scotland.

“Mine warfare crews are unique – each individual is a cog to the wheel of success,” said Shoreham’s Commanding Officer Lt Cdr Adrian Visram.

“Without one component we wouldn’t turn smoothly and the responsibilities given to junior members is much greater than on a frigate, destroyer or capital ship.”

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