Cardigan Bay brings curtain down on Gulf mission

Discussion in 'RFA' started by Hermes_R12, Jan 12, 2011.

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  1. MISSION accomplished.

    That has a very satisfying ring to it.

    After three years and two dozen patrols in the northern Gulf, RFA Cardigan Bay finished her extended stint in the region and sailed into Portsmouth Harbour.

    The ship, and before her RFAs Sir Bedivere and Diligence, served as the hub for training Iraqi sailors and marines, preparing them for the challenging task of defending their territorial waters and their country’s two oil platforms.

    Cardigan Bay acted as a mother ship for Iraqi patrol boats, their crews and their tutors and instructors, as well as US Navy fast patrol craft covering the waters around the platforms.

    Thanks to her special features, Cardigan Bay was also able to offer some unique training, such as flooding her loading dock to teach the Iraqis sea-survival techniques.

    No RFA is taking her place in the Gulf; naval leaders have decided that it’s one task which has now been completed (although a US-UK team in Umm Qasr will remain in situ until next year).

    Cardigan Bay’s Commanding Officer Capt Paul Minter RFA said his ship had “secured her place in the history of Operation Telic and the history of the fledgling Iraqi Navy.

    “It has been a demanding but rewarding role to provide support to such an important task, and has demonstrated the versatility of these capable ships.”

    After a spot of maintenance following her lengthy exertions in the harsh Gulf environment, the ship will return to the fold of the UK’s amphibious forces, ready to take part in exercises later this year.

    Cardigan Bay brings curtain down on Gulf mission

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