HMS Bangor arrives at Libyan coast

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

HMS Bangor has arrived in the Mediterranean where she will serve as part of NATO forces off the coast of Libya.

The Sandown Class vessel left HM Naval Base Clyde on 6 June 2011 and sailed over 2,500 miles (4,023 km) to arrive in the warm waters of the Med to relieve fellow mine hunter HMS Brocklesby.

In the weeks running up to the deployment, the men and women onboard HMS Bangor worked tirelessly, ensuring that the sophisticated vessel was ready for the operation.

The vessel made excellent time to the Med, making just a swift stop at Brest in France for a two-hour refuelling sop and even managed to stop at Gibraltar where the crew were allowed off to stretch their legs, with some even managing to run up the famous Gibraltar Rock.

After her brief visit, HMS Bangor was soon underway again, heading through the Mediterranean Sea to the coast of Libya.

The flat calm waters allowed the crew to undertake training and upper-deck maintenance, ensuring that the ship arrives in theatre fully trained and ready for operations.

HMS Bangor is one of seven Sandown class mine hunters - five of which are based at HM Naval Base Clyde with another two permanently deployed in the Gulf.

Built of glass reinforced plastic, the design ensures that the ship has a very low magnetic signature, essential when operating in a minefield.

The Sandown class vessels are equipped with the latest precise navigation and manoeuvring systems, allowing them to ‘hover’ over a fixed point and search for mines with their variable depth sonar.

Bangor can then deploy her clearance divers or latest state-of-the-art submersible to deal with the mines or suspicious objects.

Since Christmas, HMS Bangor has been put through her paces on Operational Sea Training in preparation for a deployment with the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group to the North Sea later this year.

She has also completed a major maintenance period, gearing up the ship to sail from UK waters for six-months.