From time to time other ships found themselves pressed into service to support mine clearance operations; notably those of the sister service, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.
In early 1960’s the tankers, Gold Ranger and Green Ranger acted as Forward Support Vessels for 104 MSS Far East at various times for exercises off Pulau Tioman in the South China Sea, with spare loops and swaging equipment ranged along the tank deck and the generous area (by RN standards) of their chart house turned into an MCM operations room. During Confrontation these ships also performed their refuelling role in the Sulu Sea off the east coast of Borneo for the ships undertaking patrols off Sandakan and Tawau.
In the mid-1960’s the salvage vessel RFA SEA SALVOR undertook a similar support role for the 7 MCM Squadron based in Malta during their deployments to Izmir and La Spezia. This was repeated in 1984 when the Oil Rig Support Ship OIL ENDEAVOUR, nicknamed “Oily D”, was leased to support TONs clearing mines in the Red Sea during Operation HARLING.
The tradition of converting civilian ships to mine clearance roles which began with sequestering fishing vessels in World War One, continued up to the Ships Taken Up From Trade [STUFT] for the Falklands campaign in 1982. The Ships Companies of the TONs in MCM 1 and the Fishery Protection Squadron were transferred to the trawlers Cordella (SO), Northella, Junella, Farnella and Pict to form 11 MCM Squadron. [See link to Falklands Campaign Memoir] In this context, it is not too outrageous to claim the Cunard liner QE2 as, temporarily, a minesweeper support ship.