PORTSMOUTH-based minehunter HMS Chiddingfold returns home on Thursday morning from the Arabian Gulf where she has spent three years on security patrols.
The vessel operated out of Bahrain as part of the UK’s commitment to maintain a mine countermeasures presence in the region.
As well as security operations, HMS Chiddingfold carried out regular training with other nations. Her crew of 45 changed about every six months – the last taking over in January.
The 6,500-mile journey home – in company with HMS Grimsby – has taken the ship through the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea, the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean.
Chiddingfold’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Charles Maynard, said: ‘It goes without saying that the ship’s company are excited about the prospect of returning to Portsmouth to be met by family and friends. Once the ship is safely alongside the crew can look forward to a well-deserved period of leave before embarking on a major overhaul of the ship and her propulsion plant.’
She is due to sail past the Round Tower at about 10am.