More than 200 ships a month, some carrying oil, gas, cars, food and consumer goods, have been escorted through Middle Eastern hotspots.
The Royal Navy say here that Operation Sentinel draws on the military assets and expertise of eight nations to deter state-sponsored threats to the security at the ‘choke points’ of the Strait of Hormuz and the Bab-al-Mandeb at the foot of the Red Sea.
“Should either become blocked or unsafe for merchant shipping the impact on the UK alone – which relies on regular supplies of liquid natural gas from the Gulf for example – would be severe.
The task group uses a combination of small and major warships from the participating navies – including the Royal Navy’s Bahrain-based frigate HMS Montrose – to monitor daily goings-on and watch over shipping, particularly merchantmen flying the flags of the eight nation’s committed to Operation Sentinel’s parent body, the International Maritime Security Construct: UK, US, Albania, Bahrain, Estonia, Lithuania, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
In addition, maritime patrol aircraft and task force helicopters have flown more than 3,300 hour of patrols – more than 19 weeks in the air – keeping a close eye on activity below.”
Cdre Mackinnon was quoted here as saying:
“Whether afloat or ashore, I have always been incredibly fortunate to find myself working alongside the very best people our respective nations have to offer. Be they UK nationals or Coalition partners; regulars or reservists; military or civilian, I have always found people to be the commander’s single most important capability, and ultimately it is good people that deliver good operational outcomes.”