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  1. ITV Report

Minehunter heading to the Med

HMS Ledbury is setting off to the Mediterranean Photo: MOD

A Portsmouth-based Royal Navy minehunter HMS Ledbury is setting sail for a four-month NATO mission in the Mediterranean.

She will be working as part of a permanent multinational maritime force in the area known as

Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group 2 (SNMCMG2).

The group works throughout the year defending sea routes from the threat of underwater mines and carrying out joint training exercises.

The 42 sailors on board returned to the UK four months ago having served on board sister ship HMS Athersone in the Arabian Gulf.

Ledbury’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Justin Haines, said: “I am delighted to lead my crew on deployment again. Having transited through the Mediterranean en route to the Arabian Gulf only last year, my crew is prepared to meet the challenges ahead.”

"The ships are operating at a high operational tempo but continuous maintenance and improvements to the weapon systems onboard are keeping HMS Ledbury and the Royal Navy at the very forefront of mine countermeasures capability worldwide."

HMS Ledbury is no stranger to the Mediterranean, having been deployed with the NATO group for six months last year.