Royal Navy Provides Security to Shipping in the Middle East
(Source: Royal Navy; issued July 16, 2019)
Royal Navy warships are providing a continuous maritime security presence in the Gulf to reassure merchant shipping and safeguard the free flow of trade.

Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan is today making her way towards the Middle East to join Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose and other ships on patrol in the region.

The UK has a long-standing presence in the Gulf and is working to de-escalate tensions and maintain free navigation through the region.

The Commanding Officer of HMS Montrose, Commander Will King, said: “The Royal Navy continues to conduct maritime security operations in the Gulf, Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman.

“We are continuously monitoring the security situation here and are committed to maintaining freedom of navigation in accordance with international law.”

The Strait of Hormuz is one of the most vital waterways in the world for international trade.

One third of all the world’s oil carried by tankers passes through the Strait of Hormuz with an average of ten tankers sailing through every day carrying upwards of 17 million barrels of oil.

There are seven Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels, with embarked Royal Marines for force protection, now committed to the region. These are:

-- 1x Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose, stationed in Bahrain until 2022 as part of the Royal Navy’s permanent presence in the Middle East;
-- 1x Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan;
-- 4x Mine Counter Measures Vessels HMS Ledbury, HMS Blyth, HMS Brocklesby and HMS Shoreham;
-- 1x Landing Ship Dock Auxiliary RFA Cardigan Bay.

Tanker RFA Wave Knight will also undertake operations in the region at the start of August as part of her long-planned deployment to the Middle East. Her role is to deliver food, fuel, water and other essential supplies to ships of the Royal Navy and our allies.

Later in the year, Type 23 frigate HMS Kent will deploy to the Gulf to take over from HMS Duncan.

The UK has a long-standing maritime security presence in the Gulf and Indian Ocean. Since 1980, ships of both the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary have maintained a presence in the region 365 days a year.

The operation – codenamed Kipion – is part of the UK’s commitment to promoting peace, stability, and the free flow of trade through some of the world’s most vital shipping lanes.

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MOD Update on the UK Military Presence in the Gulf
(Source: UK Ministry of Defence; issued July 16, 2019)
The UK has a long-standing maritime presence in the Gulf and the Indian Ocean. Since 1980, units of both the Royal Navy (RN) and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) have maintained a presence in the Gulf 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Operation KIPION, the operational name for UK forces (principally maritime) in the region, is our commitment to promoting peace and stability as well as ensuring the safe flow of trade, and countering narcotics and piracy.

We have approximately 1,200 UK personnel deployed and are committed to de-escalation in the Gulf and maintaining free navigation through the region.

The UK regularly reviews the number of RN and RFA vessels in the region. While there is occasional overlap of ships when one deployment begins and another ends, this is not uncommon. These long-planned movements do not reflect an escalation in the UK posture in the region and are routine Op KIPION deployments.

There are seven RN and RFA vessels, with embarked Royal Marines for force protection, currently deployed to Op KIPION:

-- 1 x Type 23 Frigate
HMS MONTROSE. The ship is due to undertake pre-planned maintenance and crew change during which she will be replaced by HMS DUNCAN.

-- 1 x Type 45
HMS DUNCAN is transiting to the region to ensure we maintain a continuous maritime security presence while HMS MONTROSE comes off task.

-- 4 x Mine Counter Measures Vessels
* HMS LEDBURY
* HMS BLYTH
* HMS BROCKLESBY
* HMS SHOREHAM

-- 1 x Landing ships Docking Auxiliary (LSDA) – Mine Counter Measures Support Ship
RFA Cardigan Bay

-- Future routine deployments to Op KIPION include:
* RFA WAVE KNIGHT will join OP KIPION tasking at the start of August as part of a long planned deployment to Op KIPION in the role of KIPION Ready Tanker.

With a ship’s company of around 70 RFA personnel, RFA WAVE KNIGHT’s role is to deliver food, fuel, water and other essential supplies to RN and Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) ships.

* Later in the year, Type 23 Frigate HMS KENT will deploy to the Gulf taking over from HMS DUNCAN, ensuring an unbroken presence.

The maritime component is commanded by Commodore Dean Bassett out of the United Kingdom Maritime Component Command in Bahrain. Cdre Bassett is also the Deputy Commander of the US-led Combined Maritime Force (see below).

Combined Maritime Forces (CMF)

The UK contributes to the 33-nation CMF that conducts Maritime Security Operations, counters terrorism and narcotics smuggling in maritime areas of responsibility; works with regional and other partners to improve overall security and stability; helps strengthen regional nations’ maritime capabilities; and, when requested, responds to environmental and humanitarian crises.

UK Maritime Trade Operations (MTO)

UKMTO, a Royal Navy capability, is an information conduit between military and security forces and the wider international maritime trade. UKMTO delivers timely maritime security information, often acting as the primary point of contact for merchant vessels involved in maritime incidents or traveling within an area of high risk.

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