August 20, 2021 11.41 am This story is over 27 months old

Lincolnshire affiliated Royal Navy ship leaves Gulf

After a challenging three-year deployment

A Royal Navy ship with a close connection to Lincolnshire has begun its long-anticipated journey back from the Arabian Gulf to the UK.

HMS Brocklesby has left Bahrain after three years being deployed in support of Operation Kipion in the Middle East, as part of the Royal Navy’s “commitment to promoting peace and stability in the region, as well as ensuring the safe flow of oil and trade”.

Since leaving her home port of Portsmouth in 2018, HMS Brocklesby has steamed a total of 150,000 nautical miles (equal to circling the earth around three and a half times). The ship has completed six crew changes in that time, alongside 18 operations and exercises.

HMS Brocklesby prepares for the final departure from Bahrain after three years deployed in support of Operation Kipion. | Photo: Lt Atkins RN

HMS Brocklesby has enjoyed a long affiliation with Lincolnshire – with links to the local Brocklesby Hunt, Lincoln Sea Cadets from TS Wrangler Unit and West Lindsey District Council.

The ship, which celebrates its 40th birthday next year, is currently under the care of Mine Countermeasures two (MCM2) Crew 6, known as ‘The Mavericks’.

Seaboat: Leading Diver Leith , Able Rate (Mine Warfare) Rhodes, Able Rate (Mine Warfare) Sykes conducted a boat transfer with HMS Chiddingfold in the Central Arabian Gulf, as part of Integrated Weapons Training. | Photo: ET Watkins

Lieutenant Commander Dan Lee, Commanding Officer HMS Brocklesby said: “It’s a real privilege to be sailing Brocklesby back from the Gulf. She has been home to just over 190 sailors in her time out here and been a real driving force in providing a forward presence, trialing autonomous systems, as well as delivering a mine-hunting contingency capability.

“We continued to meet a busy operational schedule right up to our departure from Bahrain and look forward to handing the reins to HMS Middleton and wishing her success in her deployment to the region.”

The Navigator of HMS Brocklesby waves to one of many Dhows, a common sight in the Gulf, in December 2020. | Photo: Lt Cdr Lee RN

Although the ship held a continuous three-year presence in the Gulf, crews have ben able to rotate in and out of the operational theatre, allowing a balance of being away and time at home with families and loved ones.

The ship is due to conduct a handover with Middleton midway through her transit back to the UK. On return to the UK, the ship is scheduled for a period of maintenance before rejoining the fleet in 2022, ready to once again conduct front line duties both in the UK and overseas.