January 21, 2021 – Survey ship HMS Echo has been in the Baltic Sea with the Lithuanian navy on operations to hunt for historic ordnance.
The Royal Navy ship was joined by former British Hunt-class minehunter HMS Dulverton which now belongs to the Lithuanian Naval Force as LNS Kursis.
Echo and the mine counter measure vessel worked together on Historical Ordnance Disposal Operations (HODOPS) off the coast of Lithuania. It gave the ships the chance to test their ability to locate and detect munitions lying on the seabed from pre-World War One to the Soviet Era.
The operations also gave Echo and Kursis the chance to carry out Officer of the Watch maneuvers, showing the skills of both ships’ companies. During this time, they were joined by Lithuanian Air Force search and rescue helicopter 42, a Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin aircraft.
AB Dillon Thompson, surveyor and quartermaster during the Officer of the Watch maneuvers, said: “I enjoyed being able to work closely with one of our NATO regional allies. It was an ideal chance to utilize Echo’s equipment and test the interoperability of a MCM and a survey ship.
“It was also good to still be able to work with another navy, despite the restrictions imposed by COVID.”
Lieutenant Philip Boak, Operations Officer, added: “It was great to be working side-by-side with such a skilled and professional navy. It was also a real opportunity to put Echo’s hydrographic equipment to good use.”
Equipped with a hi-tech sonar suite, HMS Echo is used for a variety of operations from gathering oceanography data to supporting submarine operations.
Along with fellow Echo-class ship HMS Enterprise, she carries out work in UK waters and abroad, often working with NATO allies.
Petty Officer Kirsty Warford, survey manager, said: “I was proud of how well the team worked together to produce a credible product in a very short time frame.”