HMS Ramsey sails to join NATO force

Minehunter HMS Ramsey is about to prowl the waters of northern Europe as she joins a NATO task group for the summer.

The Faslane-based warship has undergone extensive training through the winter and spring ready to take her place with Standing Mine Countermeasures Group 1, an international force which patrols from the Baltic to the Atlantic.

The force – currently comprising ships from the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Norway - is charged with carrying out joint training to deal with the latest mine threats, safely dispose of any historic ordnance the ships encounter and generally promote security at sea and the work of the alliance.

Deep-water minehunting specialist Ramsey is the second Royal Navy vessel to join the task group this year, relieving Portsmouth-based HMS Cattistock which focuses on finding mines in shallower waters.

Being part of a NATO task group will be a fantastic opportunity for us to work with our allies and promote the Royal Navy and the high standards to which we operate.

Lieutenant Henry Kilby RN

“Being part of a NATO task group will be a fantastic opportunity for us to work with our allies and promote the Royal Navy and the high standards to which we operate,” said Ramsey’s Navigating Officer, 24-year-old Lieutenant Henry Kilby.

He and shipmates took charge of Ramsey at the end of last year, having previously crewed her sister ships HMS Grimsby and, before her, HMS Bangor in the Gulf.

Aside from a short period of maintenance, 2019 has so far been devoted to training for the NATO mission, culminating in an intensive two-week package of assessment around western Scotland.

Royal Navy assessors judged the crew on the basics of navigation and seafaring, through to their gunnery and marksmanship skills, response to fires, flood and other damage aboard, as well as under FOST North.

During this, the Crew was tested in navigation serials such as pilotage and coordinated anchorages, live gunnery and damage control as well as mine hunting – everything from locating devices with her Seafox submersible system to putting her dive team in the water.

“The crew have seized the opportunities of the training period and are ready to join our NATO allies on operations.

“It has been a team effort and I am immensely proud of what has been achieved.

“HMS Ramsey deploys on a high and we are ready for the challenges ahead,” said Ramsey’s Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Peter Ellison, aged 39.

She joins the task group after its participation in the largest war game of the year in the UK, Exercise Joint Warrior, which ended just before Easter in western Scotland. Ramsey will spend four months attached to the force.