HMS Ledbury hone their skills

Minehunter HMS Ledbury has been testing her guns and mine disposal equipment during training in the Gulf.

The Hunt-class ship is in the region as part of the UK’s Mine Countermeasures Force and the crew has been put through their paces as they prepare for exercises as part of the Combined Maritime Forces.

They used the remote-controlled Seafox Mine Disposal System to test their ability to locate and dispose of mines while also training in protecting the ship using the 30mm cannon and 0.50 calibre heavy machine guns.

Finally, they conducted diving training by simulating exploding a mine using a diver-laid charge.

Doing the work-up was exciting but putting those skills to use in this environment is even better.

Able Seaman (Diver) Mac McMenemy

Able Seaman (Diver) Mac McMenemy said: “Doing the work-up was exciting but putting those skills to use in this environment is even better.

“We’re all looking forward to working with and learning from the other nations out here and building our operational experience.”

HMS Ledbury is one of four Royal Navy Minehunters deployed in the Gulf. She will carry out maritime security in the region as part of the 33-nation Combined Maritime Forces, making her training crucial.

Lieutenant Commander Mark Heward, Ledbury’s commanding officer, said: “The crew have always worked hard and this recent period of training is no exception.

“I have some very young sailors for whom this is their first time properly away from home.

“But there are lots of exciting opportunities working in the Gulf and it is exactly the sort of challenge that our people enjoy to face.”