HMS Blyth is joining NATO Standing Mine Countermeasures Group One.
The minehunter has left the Clyde to take her place with a force warships from across the alliance, say the Royal Navy here.
“The group divides its time between dealing with the leftovers of 20th Century conflict and ensuring they are ready to keep sea lanes open in the event of a modern-day clash. Blyth completed a 6,500 nautical mile voyage home from the Gulf last summer and underwent an extensive maintenance period through the autumn and winter after her three years in the punishing heat/sand/dust of the Middle East.”
Operated by Crew 2 of Faslane’s 1st Mine Countermeasures Squadron – the same sailors who brought the ship back from the Gulf – The Royal Navy say that Blyth “has bags of valuable experience to bring to a naval group which Royal Navy minehunters regularly join”.
“HMS Blyth is once again ready for operations and we are all looking forward to working with our NATO allies and helping to demonstrate the UK’s commitment to the alliance,” said Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Peter Ellison.
“The programme provides a great balance of operational tasking and opportunities to share knowledge and learn from our international friends and allies. We are truly stronger together.”
Blyth is making her way to link-up with the Dutch-led force which, most recently, has been operating in the North Sea.
“The group’s remit stretches from the Baltic to Atlantic, ensuring that mines old or new do not interrupt shipping and championing the peacekeeping efforts of the alliance.”