Monday, 17 September 2007


Minesweeping forces are an integral part of exercises such as Neptune Warrior, but this year only one of the 'Tripartite Minehunter' class vessels belonging to the French, Belgian and Dutch navies is taking part. This one, the French ship ANDROMEDE (M643), dates from 1984.

The 'sweeper was followed out by another French warship, the destroyer LATOUCH-TREVILLE (D646). She belongs to the 'George Leygues' class and was commissioned in 1990.

One of the British vessels taking part is the survey ship HMS ECHO (H87), She is a highly sophisticated vessel, capable of multiple roles including support for mine warfare and amphibious operations. Built at Appledore in 2002, she was one of the first vessels in the Royal Navy to be fitted with azimuth thrusters.

Another of the US Navy's 'Perry' class frigates was last of the ships to leave the Gareloch. USS ELROD (FFG103) was accepted into the US Navy in 1985.