A Royal Navy-led force which safeguards merchant shipping in the Middle East has moved into new operational headquarters.
The ROyal Navy say that Coalition Task Force Sentinel was established in the autumn of 2019 to provide additional security and reassurance to tankers and cargo vessels at a time of heightened tensions in the region.
“The International Maritime Security Construct consists of eight nations – the UK, Australia, Albania, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Lithuania, United Arab Emirates, and USA – all committed to ensuring the safe passage of shipping. They provide either personnel or military assets – warships, patrol vessels and aircraft – for the Sentinel Task Force, among them Plymouth-based frigate HMS Montrose which is deployed to the Gulf region long-term in a pilot initiative, alongside her sister HMS Argyll on a regular Middle East deployment.
The HQ has operated from two large air-conditioned tents throughout its first nine months, but has now moved into more fitting facilities at the US Naval Base in Bahrain.
The new and improved operations centre will improve the flow of information and allow for greater coordination in tracking merchant shipping as it passes through key waterways in the Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and Gulfs of Oman and Aden.”
An estimated six million barrels of oil and nearly 3.5 billion cubic feet of liquid natural gas pass through these waters and the Bab-el-Mandeb narrows into the Red Sea each day.