Vice Admiral James Malloy, Commander of the US Fifth Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces, commended UK personnel operating in the Middle East and the ‘special relationship’ they have with their American counterparts, say the Royal Navy.

The UK has six ships operating in the Gulf region including Type 45 Destroyer HMS Dragon.

“I am proud of the outstanding British team that supports the Combined Maritime Forces and our staffs of Combined Task Forces 51, 52, 53 and 55.

I really appreciate the professionalism and expertise of the British sailors and their ships out here in the Gulf and across the wider Middle East.”

Commodore Steve Dainton, commander of UKMCC said:

“Our navies have always had much in common and I have enjoyed working with the US navy throughout my career.

Our true friendship is demonstrated almost daily afloat with the US navy and Royal Navy assets often working together with the same goal, to maintain maritime security across the Middle East.”

Recently, exercises were held with the US navy including a Mine Countermeasures Exercise 18-2 in June, commanded from RFA Cardigan Bay, and the 23rd iteration of Khunjar Hadd in March, say the Royal Navy.


    • Certainly no other NATO nation can offer MCM expertise the Royal Navy can. Our American allies will be very pleased to have them there.

    • Rear Gunner, If I look at RN deployment for Dec in the Gulf region it was 1*Type 45 a damned good Anti Air destroyer in any fleet, 2*bays well not bad for amphib operations, 4*MCM can the US Navy do that and a naval air squadron, plus other assets. Its not bad for a nation that is not the biggest in the world. Does any European nation have such a commitment No.
      At the moment we have ships in the Gulf, in the Med, in the S.China Seas, in the Falklands and Antarctica, in the Caribbean and home waters, I’m not sure but I think some are prepping to go back to Norway.
      So yes it is a small navy and I wish we had more but hey are doing the job and have a good state of readiness. So please don’t knock them.

      • Very well said. We underestimate the capability of the RN, It is still a true blue water navy with a global footprint, just look at HMS Montrose and her adventures in the Pacific.

  1. Very good indeed. The RFA play a great role especially when the RN is far from home, I really hope no more RFA ships are laid off. And does RFA Cardigan bay have any helicopters onboard when she’s in the gulf region for years with the mine boats?

    • SHe does have aviation facilities in the form of a temporary hangar, so she may well do.

      It’s worth noting that there were two Merlins based in Oman (being or soon to be replaced with two Wildcats), and HMS Montrose is also carrying a helicopter, which will soon be forward deployed in the region.

  2. Think we need a domestic setup though, putting all our eggs in one basket so to speak as sending our fleet out to international waters hardly makes us safe. I think this is complete mismanagement of our forces and misguided foresight into potential incidents and events.

    All it takes is a larger scale task force by Russia to sail into British waters that test us frequently, like what they do with bombers to alter our international commitments due to our size.

    Our level of tech is expensive, requires planning and years on the assembly line.

    We need to boost our numbers of manpower and assests and most importantly build faster.

    • Kirkland, I agree completely, I have often said that for UK waters there should be a class of corvettes very much like the Sa’ar6 from Israel. The cost is approx £110 million each, well armed and a crew of 70.
      I have sometimes asked myself if 12 of these type vessels would be better than the 5 T31s. They would certainly free up the T45s and T 26s to do there job and act as carrier escorts.

    • Kirkland, not sure I agree with that sentiment, if the Russians ( or anyone else ) sent ships within striking distance of the UK they would fall very much under the UKs air umbrella. I cant see any naval commander putting his ships in such extreme risk. In the mean time having our navy deployed around the world keeps them in a higher state of training and readiness should they be needed. We are also a member of Nato and quite a few of them have very quiet subs that can operate well in the confined spaces around the UK.

      This is one of those instances where having the asset deployed is better than having it alongside dock

  3. I have just been past HMS Dragon. Not difficult to miss her with the hoofing big red dragon on the bow port and stbd.
    The UK MCMV squadron is extremely capable, far more so than the USN Avenger Class.
    As for Cardigan Bay she has recently been used as a mother ship to carry and operate USN remote operated MCMV ribs as well as acting as MCMV command ship. So she is getting more and more flexible.

  4. Last time the Russians sent a couple of smokers down the Channel it was the Dutch and French who escorted them. Gone are the days of 1977 when the RN could parade 120 fighting ships that included a full sized carrier to go along the pocket carriers we had. Those were different days, everything is smaller nowadays.

    I support your wish for a larger Navy. The old Home Fleet and Blue Water Fleet gave the U.K. bite. I find the fact that no one learns from history. We are an island, one that needs to import food. While there’s the Chunnel, it’s easy enough to put out of action. Then where are we? The Russians never let their Akula fleet go to rot, they have more fast attacks than the RN has inventory. Cutting the U.K. off from food supplies is easy enough. That reason alone means the RN should be investing in more ships. The T45 was 15 to replace 24, then 12, then 8, now 5. Same goes for the T26, a class that Australia is ordering more of than the RN. A nation 2/3 in population. The T31e are mere shadows of the T26, but even combining them, they are fewer in number than what they are replacing. With the capability of the Apache, HMS Ocean and a few new of the “Wasp” trope would go down better. Novotel only could the woefully inferior F35B use them, the attack helo’s could provide a shad-off attack option not thought of.

    The sheer frustration of the state of our forces makes my blood boil.


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