HMS Ramsey returns home after NATO deployment

Topic: Fighting armsSurface Fleet

HMS Ramsey has returned home following a four-month NATO deployment.

The HMNB Clyde-based Sandown- class minehunter was working with Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1) in the Baltic and North Sea.

Throughout the deployment, HMS Ramsey and her 40-strong crew have conducted maritime security, historical ordnance disposal and multinational exercises alongside the UK’s NATO maritime partners and allies.

Deploying after a period of training with Flag Officer Sea Training, HMS Ramsey joined the task group in Gothenburg, Sweden before moving into the Baltic Sea.

The task group was made up of MCMVs from the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Belgium and Denmark and UK with the Danish vessel HDMS Thetis as the Group Flagship.

Primarily deployed to the Baltic and North Atlantic region, SNMCMG1 is a permanent and high readiness task group which provides NATO with an immediate operational response capability both in peacetime and in crisis.

AB(MW) Rzepecki (23), said: “Deploying alongside NATO has been challenging but rewarding. We arrived as partners but departed as friends”

Ramsey’s first major test was Exercise Open Spirit - a period of historical ordnance disposal off the coast of Lithuania. During this two week operation, the crew helped to clear nine WW1 and WW2 mines.

HMS Ramsey had further opportunities to prove her MCM capability both off the coast of the Netherlands and then again during her final days off the coast of Denmark. Each time the task group successfully detected and countermined numerous pieces of historic ordinance from both world wars.

Prior to a short mid-deployment break, HMS Ramsey’s crew took part in the annual NATO exercise BALTOPS.

Prior to returning alongside her home port, the Crew of HMS Ramsey had the opportunity to welcome friends and families on board for the final sail up the Clyde. Over 50 friends and family members joined the ship in Ardrossan for the final hours of the deployment.

HMS Ramsey’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Peter Ellison, said: “This has been a valuable and successful deployment demonstrating the UK’s commitment to NATO and helping to keep maritime trade routes open.

“My team have delivered on operations and now look forward to a period of well-deserved leave. The opportunity to welcome family and friends on board is something we all look forward to and I am delighted to be able to show them my appreciation for their outstanding support throughout our deployment”.

Being part of the NATO Task Group has proven that HMS Ramsey and the wider Royal Navy is capable, versatile and ready to work as part a multinational NATO force.

Lieutenant Henry Kilby, HMS Ramsey’s Navigating Officer