British naval vessels, including destroyers and a landing ship, are in Gibraltar today as a busy deployment schedule sees them resupplying at the Rock.
Currently in Gibraltar are HMS Diamond, HMS Daring and RFA Mounts Bay.
HMS Daring, a Type 45 Destroyer, is tasked with protecting American aircraft carriers and allied vessels conducting strikes against Islamic State.
Daring will take over the responsibilities of HMS Defender, another of the UK’s six Type 45 destroyers, which returned to Portsmouth at the start of July following a nine-month operation.
Type 45 Destroyer HMS Diamond conducted a ‘Sovereignty Patrol’ of Gibraltars waters this week and is now docked at the territory before deploying to counter arms and people trafficking.
HMS Diamond will sail to the southern Mediterranean to join an operation aimed at countering arms trafficking and will replace the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship RFA Mounts Bay (also docked) during a planned maintenance period.
Diamond will join Operation Sophia for around two months, which is focused on tackling the human smugglers and arms traffickers who endanger the lives of innocent people.
RFA ship Mounts Bay, (a Bay class landing ship) has recently assisted in the removal of the last batch of materials which could be used in the manufacture of chemical weapons from Libya.
The UK provided RFA Mounts Bay to support the Danish-led maritime operation, escorting a Danish transport ship through the Mediterranean as it carried the chemicals, the Defence Secretary and Foreign Secretary have announced.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
“RFA Mounts Bay will help ensure chemical weapons precursors do not fall into the hands of extremist groups, including Daesh. This contribution underlines our support to the Libyan Government of National Accord.”
This busy period for the territory isn’t unusual but it’s not very common and comes not long after the Type 45 Destroyer fleet was pictured in port at the same time.