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The Little and Large show


To reinforce the sense of growing danger from Tehran, Bush has asked his new Defence Secretary, Robert Gates, to dispatch a second aircraft carrier group to the Gulf. This is needed to counter the threat of Iran mining the Straits of Hormuz in response to UN sanctions. To help out, the Royal Navy is sending two more minesweepers to join the international force there. "And yet," warned Blair, in best parsonical finger-wagging mode in Dubai, "a large part of world opinion is frankly almost indifferent. It would be bizarre if it weren't so deadly serious."

Just bloody marvellous - says it all really
Just to clarify things a bit, the two RN Sandown Class minehunters (HMS Ramsey and HMS Blyth) had already deployed to the Gulf for three years as part of the long-planned Operation AINTREE. This is aimed at gathering training experience and data on the performance of Sonar 2093 in warmer climes. They were alongside in Dubai over Christmas and their presence has nothing to do with this surge by the US Navy.

The RN already has a 'big ship' presence in the Gulf area. According to the RN website, HMS Sutherland is currently the Gulf Patrol ship, conducting Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIOPS) in support of UNSCR, and HMS Cornwall has sailed to take over this duty. HMS Campbeltown has sailed to support CTF150 and RFA Bayleaf is providing replenishment support to warships and other coalition vessels throughout the Gulf region.

More details here.
do I get the feeling of deja vue here? 6th Minesweeping Squadron based in Barhrain in the sixties? now why were they there? As I rememebr it the squadron tie was blue with lots of clocks and waste paperbins all over it (leave you to figure out what they meant)

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