The crew of HMS Monmouth honed their fighting skills with the Indian Navy during their trip, say the MoD.
After a few days’ rest in the port of Mormugua, the frigate and her crew put to sea with the Indian frigate INS Gomati. Gomati was invited to join Monmouth for a day of joint manoeuvres and tactics off Goa.
“Although it may often seem like there are just two ships sailing around each other, these manoeuvres provide the best opportunity for the officer of the watch to get comfortable handling ships in close proximity to one another.
That’s of paramount importance, especially when handling a ship during a replenishment at sea, for example,” explained HMS Monmouth’s Navigating Officer, Lieutenant Daniel Owen-Hughes.
After the exercise in close proximity, the gunnery teams honed their targeting skills by letting rip with the heavy machine-guns and Miniguns, typically used for ‘quickdraw’ drills – responding to sudden attacks from fast-attack craft.
“Being part of the upper-deck weapons crew is definitely something I enjoy,” said Able Seaman (Warfare Specialist) James Kenyon.
“It’s not every day that someone can get to fire a weapon such as the heavy machine-gun. But it is still a challenging role with the amount of training that goes in to ensure we all remain ready to react to any threat at any time.”
With firings complete, it was the turn of the embarked Royal Marines boarding team – embarked on HMS Monmouth to secure and search suspicious vessels encountered on security patrols – used the Gomati for a practice mission.
The boarding exercise was designed to test both the ships’ boarding teams in disembarking ‘mother’ and embarking a vessel of interest in a short space of time, according to an MoD release.
Commander Ian Feasey said, “My ship and ship’s company have been superbly hosted by the Indian Navy, we’ve had the chance to build on the already-close relationship and ongoing engagement between our two navies.
“Most of the ship’s company have not had the opportunity to visit India before and everyone enjoyed what this historic part of the country had to offer.”
HMS Monmouth has now resumed her anti-terrorism patrol in the Indian Ocean.
She’s due to return to Plymouth before Christmas.