Sailors who served on HMS Daring as she defied a ‘missile threat’ during a 2016 deployment are to be awarded a new medal clasp, the Royal Navy has announced.
The Gulf of Aden Clasp is in recognition of those who protected merchant shipping in the Bab al-Mandeb strait. The MV Swift, a privately owned 320ft hybrid catamaran was attacked in October 2016 off the coast of Yemen. The incident was described as ‘a horrific reminder of how anti-ship missiles are falling into the hands of non-state actors’ by The Drive.
‘This achievement shows how capable the Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyers truly are, having successfully defended hundreds of thousands of tonnes of merchant shipping with our sensors and weapons’
Commander Phil Dennis, HMS Daring
At the time, HMS Daring was already heading to the area at the start of a 9 month deployment on maritime security operations.
The deployment involved escorting each merchant shipping transit of the strait at ‘the highest degree of readiness’. HMS Daring was threatened both by land-based missiles and explosive boats operated by the Houthi insurgency.
Britain depends on the sea for around 95% of its imports and exports, and a vast amount of global trade passes through the Bab al-Mandeb strait. Earlier this year, Bloomberg reported that it was an ’emerging chokepoint for Middle East oil flows’. Indeed the US Energy Information Administration estimates that in 2016 4.8m barrels a day of crude and petroleum products transited through the strait.