HMS Enterprise, a NATO group flagship, has been conducting training with the Croatian Navy.
Enterprise – currently in charge of NATO’s Mine Countermeasures Group 2 – trained extensively with the Croatian Navy missile/fast patrol boat Vukovar. Vukovar, not 150ft long and with a crew of only 30, is crammed with firepower – a 57mm main gun, eight Swedish-made anti-ship missiles, depth charges and a couple of 23mm machine-guns.
According to a press release:
“To date, Enterprise has been a flagship without a task group, but in Brindisi that changed as the first ship assigned to the NATO force this autumn, Turkish minehunter Edremit, joined the Briton for the entry into harbour.
While Turks and Brits were getting to know one another, task group commander Cdr Justin Hains visited Brindisi’s civic and military leaders, who stressed the importance of the port and maritime trade links in the southern Adriatic.
It’s the task of the minehunting group to support those trade links by keeping the sea lines open and free of mines – be they present day or those from the Mediterranean’s 20th Century conflicts.”
In early January 2017 it was announced Enterprise had deployed to the South Atlantic to perform patrol tasks normally carried out by the Falkland Islands patrol vessel, HMS Clyde, while Clyde underwent 3 months of maintenance in South Africa.
Aside from patrol duties, Enterprise was also tasked with updating charts of the region used by seafarers during her deployment.
Enterprise returned to Devonport on the 18th of April 2017 having steamed 150,000 miles and visited 20 countries over a period of nearly three years.
Upon her return to the UK Enterprise underwent a short refit in Falmouth prior to returning to operations. Sailing from Devonport in late June 2017, Enterprise deployed in her secondary role as an MCM mothership assuming the role of flagship of NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 (SNMCMG2), primarily operating in the Mediterranean.