HMS Montrose has completed 100 days on Operation Sentinel, escorting over 650 vessels through the Gulf say the Royal Navy.

Operation Sentinel is an international mission providing reassurance and protection to thousands of cargo transporters, oil and gas tankers passing in and out of the Gulf region.

The mission established in the region to protect commercial shipping through the region, in particular, the Strait of Hormuz. The move was prompted after Iranian forces seized a British-flagged tanker.

“Sentinel – run by the eight-nation International Maritime Security Construct from Bahrain – originally focused on safe passage through the Strait of Hormuz, gateway to the Gulf.

The operation’s domain has since expanded to cover other ‘choke points’/danger zones, notably the Bab-el-Mandeb narrows (aka ‘The BAM’) at the foot of the Red Sea and an invisible highway through the Gulf of Aden, the International Recognised Transit Corridor (previous known as ‘Pirate Alley’) which merchant ships are encouraged to use and receive protection/assistance from warships.

HMS Montrose shepherds a container ship in the Gulf

The BAM is the gateway to Suez, the Mediterranean, Europe and ultimately the North Atlantic and UK used by around 50 merchant ships every day… while one sixth of the world’s oil and a third of its liquefied natural gas pass through Hormuz.

Montrose acts as one of several ‘sentinels’ – larger warships – and smaller ‘sentries’ which, in connection with patrol aircraft and helicopters, build up a picture of life in the region, spot anything unusual and provide protection where necessary.”

The Royal Navy say that in her 100-plus days on Sentinel, Bahrain-based HMS Montrose has broadcast more than 1,300 radio messages assisting and guiding merchant sailors safely – as well as accompanying vessels, including British minehunters, through the choke points on occasions.

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Hi folks hope are well,
I was wondering if there was an attack on any of the commercial ships what action would take place would the UK be the first to engage? Its great to see the UK steping up along with US and Australia allies but are there any other European NATO nations other than Albania and Lithuania
comming to the party, we do seem to be streachd with our commitments.


Hi George. Agree. The UK does of course have lingering residual responsibilities in many parts of the world from the bonds built during the time of Empire, particularly in the Middle East. It would be nice though to see EU nations, particularly the likes of Germany, Italy and France give a hand, but in general we continue in the role of junior policeman to the USA for better or worse despite the fact that the Straits are vital to World commerce so their should be better sharing. ps is that an Arleigh burke with the type 23? Such a successful… Read more »


Looks like a Ticonderoga class cruiser Geoff….


Yes very much the latter, I bet they feel safer with that protecting them as they protect the merchantmen lol.


Thanks Andrew!

Mark B

We may be stretched but in many ways that will concentrate minds on providing upgrades, replacements and perhaps even additions. If you have hulls sitting around doing nothing they might well get towed off to the scrap yard.


It’s crazy that the navy’s of the Arab countries right there can’t handle the escort duties. Or maybe the merchants don’t trust them……


The Arab nations can and do carry out escort duties in the areas of the Straights, mostly to deter Iranian boardings. The BAM and pirate alley is being done by mostly western navies who where doing this from the time when the Pirate problems originating in the horn of Africa came to the fore.


Some good friends on Montrose from both crews. Its a pity that the social side of life is so heavily curtailed under RN COVID restrictions when I do get to see them.