Type 23 Frigate HMS Montrose today celebrates 1,000 days in the Gulf keeping sea lanes open and tackling drug smugglers.
The Royal Navy said in a news release that the frigate and her 200 sailors and Royal Marines have “provided a constant presence by a major Royal Navy warship in the Middle East since April 11 2019, working with other British and allied vessels to safeguard shipping, keep sea lanes open and stop trafficking”.
Operating out of Bahrain – where the facilities and personnel of the UK Naval Support Facility, which opened in 2018, are key to sustaining basing Royal Navy ships in the Gulf – in her 1,000 days in theatre Montrose has:
Commodore Ed Ahlgren, Commander UK Maritime Component Command, senior Royal Navy officer in the Middle East said:
“I am delighted to mark 1000 days of HMS Montrose in theatre. She has had many successes whilst in the region, including narcotics seizures and maintaining free and safe passage for shipping around three of the busiest trade chokepoints in the world. Montrose and her crews should be proud of what they have achieved.”
According to the news release:
“Montrose was in the vanguard of a programme to deploy major Royal Navy warships around the world for several years at a time. Patrol ships have since been committed to the Caribbean, Mediterranean and, most recently, Asia-Pacific region on extended missions.
The initiative spares ships the long journey home to the UK every six or so months, with maintenance being carried out wherever the vessels are operating, and some – or, in the case of Montrose, all – crew changing every few months.”
Commander Claire Thompson, Commanding Officer of Montrose’s Starboard Crew who are in charge of the ship until spring said:
“I am immensely proud of what both crews have achieved during the past three years. Our enduring presence in this region has shown the commitment the UK has to ensure the stability and security of the Gulf region along with our allies. This couldn’t be achieved without the commitment of our personnel and their support from their families back home.”
HMS Montrose returns home later in 2022.