A helicopter is seen above HMS Hurworth as she prepares for NATO minehunting (Picture: Royal Navy).
Picture: Royal Navy.

HMS Hurworth prepares for NATO minehunting duties

A helicopter is seen above HMS Hurworth as she prepares for NATO minehunting (Picture: Royal Navy).
Picture: Royal Navy.

HMS Hurworth has proven her readiness to support NATO on European minehunting operations.

The ship's company has performed tests on equipment, whilst carrying out gunnery and emergency drills, the Royal Navy said.

The minehunter is part of NATO Standing Mine Countermeasures Group 2 – available to support the alliance on clearing ordnance and other exercises.

The crew of the ship were tested with a visit from the Fleet Operational Sea Training (FOST) team before battling bad weather, high seas and strong tides as they passed through the Pentland Firth on their way to the Isle of Arran.

Personnel tested Seafox – an underwater vessel they pilot remotely to find mines.

Hurworth then spent two weeks at HMNB Clyde, where her crew were put through their paces in navigating without GPS, firefighting, damage control and live firing of weapons.

A winching exercise was carried out with the Coastguard and the vessel practised her response against fast boats with P2000 HMS Raider acting as the enemy.

Divers also carried out mine laying, recovery drills and diving in emergencies.

Hurworth then headed back to Portsmouth where she raised the NATO flag.

Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Simon Reeves said: "I am very proud of my team who have displayed grit and determination to ensure Hurworth is ready to deploy once again on operations overseas, protecting our nation’s interests and upholding the reputation of the Royal Navy.

"They have shown commitment and drive needed to continue to deliver our operations."

Lieutenant Joe Hobday, navigator on Hurworth, added: "The crew are very proud to be flying the flag for NATO as part of Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1.

"As we conduct our operation, we will be providing security and reassurance to our partner nations."

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