Type 23 Frigate HMS Montrose has been operating out of the Royal Navy’s Middle East headquarters in Bahrain.
This ‘forward basing’ sees UK warships deployed for extended periods in key parts of the world and the crews rotated by being flown back and forward to the UK.
“Basing a frigate long-term in the Gulf spares the vessels the 6,000-mile journey each way from and back to the UK, making it available more frequently for operations in the Middle East. It also exposes the vessel to extended periods for the punishing heat and sandy, dusty conditions, and means any maintenance work is carried out in yards in the region.
The port at Duqm proved earlier this year it can support a complex, modern warship having completed Montrose’s winter overhaul. Duqm benefits from enjoying the newest facilities in the Middle East – it’s a port/town which has been created from nothing over the past decade and is becoming a key hub for Royal Navy operations in the region.”
The Royal Navy say that the frigate’s spring revamp following four months of patrols – including three large drugs busts and a major exercise with the Omani Navy – was a complex affair.