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.
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.