Posted on April 12, 2019
HMS Montrose has arrived in Bahrain ready to begin a three-year mission stationed in the country. The Type 23 frigate left the UK six months ago with pit stops in locations including Sri Lanka, Japan and Easter Island during its journey to the Middle East.
Montrose will be permanently based in a new support facility in the Gulf for three years as part of the UK’s commitment to the security of the Middle East.
The vessel will also support counter-terror and counter-smuggling operations in the Indian Ocean, near where HMS Dragon made a record eight drug busts recently.
The crew who have sailed to Bahrain will soon return to the UK, with personnel from Plymouth taking their place and allowing for Montrose to undergo maintenance.
“Today marks a significant milestone for us,” said Commander Conor O’Neill, Montrose’s Commanding Officer. I am immensely proud of all that we have achieved during our voyage to Bahrain. We now have the time to recuperate; making use of the excellent new facilities of the United Kingdom Naval Support Facility before handing over to our opposite numbers.”
The senior Royal Navy commander in the Middle East theatre is Commodore Steve Dainton, UK Maritime Component Commander. He directs naval operations from his headquarters in Bahrain and said: “The Royal Navy is here to help protect the UK’s overseas interests and promote regional security and resilience.
“HMS Montrose will fulfil a vital role along with our mine countermeasure vessels and the support ship Royal Fleet Auxiliary Cardigan Bay. It is clear we will have significantly enhanced the scope and capacity of our operations throughout the region.”