RFA Cardigan Bay and minehunters HMS Blyth and Ledbury of the UK’s Gulf mine warfare force spent a few days in Qatar this week.
According to the Royal Navy, the crews of Blyth and Ledbury are drawing to the end of their time in the Gulf, preparing to return to Faslane and Portsmouth respectively after nearly six months on operations. The visit was designed to advertise the significant mine warfare skills and equipment they bring to bear.
“It’s always a pleasure to open our ships up to visitors, and our time in Doha proved an ideal opportunity,” said Lt Cdr Louise Ray, Blyth’s Commanding Officer.
“We hosted and provided in-depth tours for MCM experts from the Qatar Emirati Navy – we’re proud to work with our Qatari friends to help provide security at sea.”
According to the Royal Navy website:
“British sailors discussed joint operations with their Qatari counterparts, in particular mine warfare.
The Qatari Emiri Navy operates well over 70 vessels – mostly patrol craft, although it is investing in a helicopter assault ship and – to safeguard its 350-mile coastline and territorial waters, but doesn’t possess any minehunters, a branch of warfare in which the RN is widely-regarded as a world leader.”