The crews of minehunters HMS Penzance and Chiddingfold have sailed for the Middle East.
The Royal Navy say in a news release that this is the second time the two vessels have sailed in company to the Middle East for a three-year tour of duty, having last made the extended trip between 2014 and 2017.
“Heading back to the U.K., mission accomplished, once Penzance and Chiddingfold arrive, are their sister ships HMS Blyth and Ledbury. The Royal Navy has maintained a four-strong minehunting force – bolstered by a dedicated battle staff and mother ship, currently RFA Cardigan Bay – for more than a decade.
Together, they keep the sea lanes open, deter aggression, work with allies and fly the flag for the UK in a part of the world which is key to the nation’s security and economy. The two Gulf-bound ships are the first to switch over to a new crew rotational system – four months aboard instead of six, followed by four months back in the U.K. on leave/undergoing training, courses, education and the like. The program is intended to give sailors – 51 on Chid, 40 on Penzance – a more settled life, while getting the maximum out of their vessels on operations in theatre.”