British frigate HMS Montrose is once again keeping Middle Eastern sea lanes open, say the Royal Navy.
The crew of the frigate have undergone intensive assessment to resume patrols, just months after they were carrying out the same mission in these same waters. According to a Royal Navy news release:
“The frigate is geared up for four demanding months keeping Middle Eastern sea lanes open – and keeping illegal activity in check – in the latest chapter of her extended tour of duty in the region. Normally based in Plymouth, the Type 23 frigate is deployed to Bahrain – the hub of the Royal Navy’s operations east of Suez – for three years as part of the new Forward Presence programme which ensures vessels spend more time at sea in an operational theatre – and their crews enjoy more settled, plan-able lives.
Every four months the ship’s company of more than 200 sailors, Royal Marines and Wildcat helicopter crew change entirely – in this case Port Crew, under Commander Ollie Hucker, moved on board Montrose for the third time.”
The Royal Navy add that the ship herself was given an ‘MOT and service’, ensuring everything is in working order.
“The ship performs a wide-ranging mission from working with the UK’s partners and Allies in the Gulf to provide reassurance to merchant shipping arriving or departing the region and conducting counter-terrorism/smuggling/piracy patrols in the broader waters of the Indian Ocean.”