HMS Middleton has returned to Portsmouth this morning after three years deployed in the Gulf.
The minehunter left Portsmouth in July 2015 to continue the UK’s commitment to security operations within the Middle East, changing crews five times within that period.
The current crew, MCM2 Crew 2, have been with the ship since January, and families and friends gathered in HMNB Portsmouth to welcome them home.
Forces News was live on Facebook as the ship returned:
Families and friends are gathering in Portsmouth to welcome home their loved ones on board HMS Middleton returning from the Gulf. More: https://www.forces.net/news/hms-middleton-returning-portsmouth-after-three-years-gulfPosted by Forces News on Friday, 31 August 2018
Middleton worked with the UK’s allies in the region, forming part of a task group with the US Navy, as well as working with the Royal Saudi, Kuwaiti, Qatari, Egyptian, Omani, UAE and Bahraini navies.
The ship was part of Operation Kipion Mine Countermeasures, which involved minehunters conducting route survey, sea-bed clearance and mine clearance operations around the Gulf.
One sailor was certainly love-sick on board HMS Middleton and proposed to his partner as soon as they reached dry land.
The aim was to provide a naval presence in the Gulf region, to maintain relations with local nations, as much of the UK's oil and gas, as well as other products come from the region.
The crew have been working closely with its sister crew on board HMS Bangor which has also returned to the UK, after spending the last three years based in the Gulf.