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New crew join the Cheery Chid in balmy Bahrain

22 August 2016
Bahrain-based minehunter HMS Chiddingfold has new owners in the form of Crew 3 from the Hunt-class Mine Countermeasures Squadron. They’ve flown out from their native Portsmouth to take charge of the ship into early 2017.

Thumbs up from AB(Diver) Brad Hayes as he follows shipmates AB(MW)s Andy Holmes and McNamee up the gangway to join HMS Chiddingfold – their home for the next six or seven months.

In the latest switchover of sailors running the Royal Navy’s four-strong minehunter force in Bahrain, Crew 3 are the proud ‘owners’ of the Cheery Chid into early 2017.

Before heading to the Gulf, the crew conducted extensive training in one of Chid’s Hunt-class sister ships off the west coast of Scotland – everything from solo exercises to large-scale international war games such as the twice-yearly Joint Warrior, run from Faslane.

My crew trained hard to ensure that they were ready to make the most out of Chiddingfold’s modern mine hunting technology.

Lt Cdr James Baker RN

Temperatures in the Hebrides barely reached double figures during the spring, there was a stark contrast with the midday sun in the Gulf regularly topping 45 degrees in August (although it’s only about 36˚C at present…).

“My crew trained hard to ensure that they were ready to make the most out of Chiddingfold’s modern mine hunting technology,” said CO Lt Cdr James Baker.

“Many of my sailors have deployed to the Gulf before but for many others it is a new and exciting experience.

“Whilst deployed we will visit ports in neighbouring countries so that we can train alongside the navies of our regional partners and enjoy getting to know their countries and culture.”

As the new owners, Crew 3 re-tested all of the ship’s sensors and weapons to ensure that she is fully operational before beginning an autumn of exercises and patrols in company with RN, US and other coalition navies operating in the region.

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