The UK Royal Navy Hunt-class mine countermeasures vessel HMS Cattistock (M31) returned home to HM Naval Base Portsmouth from a NATO deployment in the Baltic.
Families were lining the basin wall at HM Naval Base Portsmouth to greet loved ones who had been away for ten weeks on a busy schedule of training, operations and port visits.
The ship was assigned to Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1), mixing a programme of defence and security assurance in the region with the clearance of anti-shipping mines laid during the two world wars.
The NATO deployment was only seven weeks long but created a big impact, along with allies from the Danish, Belgian, German, Latvian, Norwegian and Dutch navies. In just a two-week spell hunting mines in the Irbe Strait, HMS Cattistock destroyed six mines laid by Russian and German forces in each world war.
In just a two-week spell hunting mines in the Irbe Strait, gateway to the Latvian capital of Riga, HMS Cattistock destroyed six mines laid by Russian and German forces in each world war; the NATO force made 39 mines safe in that stretch.
Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Claire Thompson, said: “This may be the second oldest ship in the Fleet, but we’ve shown again the versatility and value of a minehunter and her crew in working with allies, representing the UK overseas and making life at sea a little safer in the Baltic.”
It has been a busy year for Crew 6 having returned from operations in the Gulf earlier in the year. Since then, having moved onboard HMS Cattistock, they took part in D-Day 75, undertook Defence operations in UK waters, and also managed continuation training in Scotland.
After a brief stop in Copenhagen, the Portsmouth-based warship joined SNMCG1 in Tallinn, Estonia; also visiting Finland and Latvia before heading back.