SAILORS on board one of the Royal Navy’s minehunters have been named the best in Britain for their efforts.
The crew of Portsmouth-based HMS Ledbury have been recognised for their minehunting efforts after a busy year for the 40-plus ship’s company.
The team on board Ledbury spent much of last year on operations in the heat of the Gulf, and the cool waters of the Baltic.
They also dealt with the debris of the Second World War in waters around the UK.
For their hard work, the sailors have been awarded the Effectiveness Trophy by the Royal Navy.
Lieutenant Commander Simon Pressdee is the commanding officer of HMS Ledbury.
He said: ‘The award of the Mine Warfare Effectiveness trophy is a great honour for Crew Six and recognises the high standards that all the crew maintained during 2013 following sustained operational deployments to the Middle East, Mediterranean, and the Baltic.
‘Having raised the bar, I am confident we will continue to deliver to this high standard during our forthcoming deployment in 2014.’
The team on board HMS Ledbury – Crew Six – is one of eight Royal Navy crews who operate the Hunt-class minehunters of the Second Mine Countermeasures Squadron.
They specialise in finding mines in deep seas.
The crews take it in turns to operate either around the coast of Britain or out on Nato duties around the world, or as part of the navy’s presence in the Gulf.
Crew Six began their year by taking HMS Atherstone from Portsmouth the Bahrain to relieve sister ship HMS Middleton.
They were immediately thrust into a huge international mine countermeasures exercise in a test of their minehunting prowess.
After seven and a half months there, they returned to the UK to take charge of HMS Ledbury.
Shortly after, they were back at sea in the Mediterranean and Red Sea.
The year ended with the ship back on Nato duties, as part of an exercise in the Baltic.
Now, the Portsmouth sailors are training for another stint in the Gulf.
The winners of the award receive a trophy and get to fly the Surface Flotilla Efficiency Flag when entering and leaving the harbour, and while alongside in UK and foreign ports.
Other Portsmouth ships given awards in 2013 included HMS Daring, HMS Dragon, HMS Lancaster, HMS Severn, and HMS Blazer.