HMS Shoreham left Faslane in Scotland to start her 5,700 nautical mile journey in June and as ever, leaving home was emotional, but once at sea, the crew were able to focus on their individual and team role.
Dylan Toomey is a clearance diver on board and spoke to Forces Radio BFBS' Chris Keen about the very intense Operational Sea Training the crew had to undertake before deploying:
“Pre-deployment training was testing at times, a bit tough but very beneficial, especially looking back at the transit here and the things we’ve done.
"It was also really good to bond with the crew and see everybody click together.”
The Sandown Class Mine Counter Measures Vessel (MCM) will be based at the UK Naval Support Facility in Bahrain and will operate in the region for up to three years with new crews changing over every six months.
The Commanding Officer of MCM1 Crew, Lt Cdr Adrian Visram spoke to Chris Keen as they arrived:
“This is a great opportunity for all the guys on board to develop their professional skills.
"We've got the opportunity to integrate with the other ships in the area and develop our capabilities as a unit and also as a force.
"The focus very much is on operations and our ability to contribute to the wider theatre.”
The sea got pretty rough as HMS Shoreham went through the Indian Ocean and at some points, the swell was nearly as high as the bridge. As you can see in the clip below, the camera was perfectly placed to capture this.
"It was pretty uncomfortable for a considerable period of time. That video shows how much these ships can move about in the high seas.
"I'm pleased to report that we're all in one piece... the guys and girls really appreciate why we've got to secure for sea and make sure we batten down, ready for anything.”
Those new to the area were happy to have arrived and were looking forward to another place to explore. AB Toomey said:
“[Bahrain] is different to anywhere I’ve visited before [and there’s a] massive military influence in the area.
"I’m excited to go round and see the place, see a different culture. It’ll be interesting.”