January 5, 2009 -- Currently on patrol in the Gulf, the Royal Navy warship HMS Monmouth has carried out a spectacular night-shoot with the use of night flares.
The shoot was carried out by the ship's force protection teams in order to practice their night-time skills.
Gunners Petty Officer Dave Copeland and Leading Seaman Jonny Hinchcliffe conducted the shoot with a team of aimers consisting of nine highly trained personnel.
Leading Seaman Hinchcliffe said:
"It is always good to conduct a night serial and I feel the members of the team gained a lot from the exercise.
"Conducting this shoot increased the confidence of the sailors to carry out their operational duties while on task at the Iraqi oil platforms."
An accurate rate of fire onto the night flare target was achieved with over 3,600 rounds of 7.62mm calibre ammunition.
Lieutenant Commander Paul Ottewell, Monmouth's Operations Officer, said:
"Live firing practice underpins our readiness to act decisively on the captain's orders to deter threats and, if necessary, to neutralise them.
"The night may, on the face of it, have been a spectacular sound-and-light show, but for those involved it has recharged that vital pillar of courage in the face of the enemy, namely confidence in one's skill-at-arms."
HMS Monmouth will remain on duty in the Gulf until later this year to help protect the Iraqi oil platforms. The security of the platforms, which generate a significant proportion of Iraq's national income, is highly important to stability in the region.
Commissioned by Lady Eaton in 1991, HMS Monmouth is a Type 23 Duke Class frigate with a length of 133 metres and displacing over 4,000 tonnes.
The ship has a complement of 174 officers and ratings and is equipped with the latest weapons, sensors and communications systems, including the vertical-launch Seawolf missile system for close air defence, a 4.5-inch (11.5cm) gun, anti-submarine torpedoes, Harpoon anti-ship missiles and a Merlin helicopter.
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