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News story: UK minehunter heads for the Med

Ministry of Defence said:
She will be working as part of a permanent multinational maritime force in the area known as Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2.
The Group works throughout the year, defending sea routes from the threat of underwater mines and carrying out joint training exercises.
The 42 sailors on board HMS Ledbury returned to the UK 4 months ago, having served on board sister ship HMS Atherstone in the Gulf.

Families and friends wave to loved ones departing Portsmouth on board HMS Ledbury [Picture: Leading Airman (Photographer) Vicki Benwell, Crown copyright]HMS Ledbury’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Justin Hains, said:
I am delighted to lead my crew on deployment again. Having transited through the Mediterranean en route to the Gulf only last year, my crew is prepared to meet the challenges ahead.
HMS Ledbury is no stranger to the Mediterranean, having been deployed with the NATO Group for 6 months last year. Lieutenant Commander Hains added:
The ships are operating at a high operational tempo but continuous maintenance and improvements to the weapon systems on board are keeping HMS Ledbury and the Royal Navy at the very forefront of mine countermeasures capability worldwide.

'Kin hell, is that all we have left to send? And we even have to use the same crew on two different ships (boats?). It seems it's been a while since we 'ruled the waves'.
The crew roulement thing is done to maintain a force of four MCMVs out in the Gulf. To deploy them normally and bring them back in the traditional way would not be feasible - so they crew swop.

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