The Royal Navy-led security mission in the Gulf has ensured safe passage for more than 1,100 merchant ships over the last year.

According to the Royal Navy here, Coalition Task Force Sentinel was formed last year in response to growing tensions and threats to shipping in the Middle East and is dedicated to safe and free movement of oil, gas and goods in and out of the region.

“Led by the Royal Navy since the end of January – firstly Commodore James Parkin, currently Commodore Rob Bellfield and, from later this month, Commodore Craig Wood – the force frequently makes use of the UK’s Bahrain-based frigate, HMS Montrose, to carrying out the mission.

Although the force is dedicated to general maritime security, it focuses on providing ‘over watch’ to merchant ships which fly the flag of nine member nations – together they make up the International Maritime Security Construct – such as the UK, USA and United Arab Emirates; in excess of 1,100 have been assisted to date.”

The task force uses ‘sentinels’ (larger warships such as Montrose or destroyers operating in choke points) and ‘sentries’ (corvettes and patrol ships operating in waterways between the narrows) to both build up a complete picture of goings on in the Gulf, Strait of Hormuz and the Bab el Mandeb Strait and southern Red Sea, and offer support and assistance to passing merchant ships.

“The ships have been on station more than 28,000 hours collectively – 166 weeks, or more than three years – while helicopters and long-range maritime patrol aircraft have flown more than 13,000 hours (over 77 weeks) providing surveillance and intelligence. The force also sends out more than two dozen reminders daily over the airwaves that it is on hand should merchantmen be threatened.

Almost 50 ships pass through the Bab el-Mandeb at the foot of the Red Sea every day, while an average of 115 vessels enter or leave the Gulf via the Strait of Hormuz. Any closure of these waterways has international consequences, impacting economies all over the globe.”

Commodore Bellfield said in a statement:

“Since the inception of the International Maritime Security Concept, there have been no attacks on flagged vessels. Mission success!”

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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David Barry
David Barry
1 year ago

Very interesting article about an RA unit deployed to Saudi with Giraffe just pposted on thinpinstripped line.

1 year ago
Reply to  David Barry

Just read it, will speak to my bro and see if he has any other info on it. Seems to me it’s more to do with possibly helping a very good customer out, in an area which they may have had issues due to whatever reasons, in their LLAD surveillance, and possibly showing a presence, in conjunction with our Allies in NATO who are serious about warfare and sometimes, with the state of the Kingdom, better the devil you know. Cheers.

1 year ago

“From Calais to anywhere on the Kent coastline”………