HMS Penzance returned to Faslane after spending three years helping to protect vital waterways in the Gulf.
Sailing the ship as it made its way up the Gare Loch were Crew 1 from Faslane’s First Mine Counter Measures Squadron (MCM1) who have served with the vessel for the past eight months.
At any one time the Royal Navy has four mine hunters working in the Gulf – two Scottish-based Sandown class ships from HM Naval Base Clyde and two Hunt class vessels which are usually based in Portsmouth.
While there, the vessels conducted routine surveys, sea-bed clearance and mine clearance operations. The ships provide a visible naval presence in the region where stability and good relations with local nations is vital. That government say that because much of the UK’s gas, as well as other products, come from the Gulf region and the Royal Navy’s efforts are of vital importance to the UK economy.
Commanding Officer of HMS Penzance, Lieutenant Commander Jim Lovell, said:
“The ship has performed everything asked of her during the deployment and I could not be more proud of my Ship’s Company.
A professional and versatile team, they have delivered everything I have asked of them but now it’s time for some very well earned leave.”
HMS Penzance left Faslane in June 2014 for service in the Gulf with Crew 1 joining the ship in January 2017- an especially long deployment for the crew of a mine hunter.
While the ships stay on deployment in the region for years at a time, the crews are rotated every six-months or so, flying out to join the vessels.