HMS DUNCAN arrives in the Gulf
Royal Navy vessel HMS DUNCAN has arrived in the Gulf, where she will support the safe passage of British-flagged ships through the Strait of Hormuz along with HMS MONTROSE.
The Type 45 Destroyer, HMS DUNCAN, will work with the Type 23 Frigate HMS MONTROSE until she comes off duty in late August, ensuring the continuous availability of ships to accompany merchant vessels.
HMS MONTROSE covers an operating area of some 19,000 nautical miles. She has so far accompanied 35 merchant vessels through the Strait during 20 separate transits, travelling 6,200 nautical miles in the process.
Later in the year, another Type 23 Frigate, HMS KENT, will take over this tasking from HMS DUNCAN. HMS MONTROSE will remain stationed in the Middle East until 2022 as part of the Royal Navy’s permanent presence in the Middle East.
Operation KIPION, the operational name for UK forces in the region, is a commitment to promoting peace and stability as well as ensuring the safe flow of trade, and countering narcotics and piracy. The UK has a long-standing maritime presence in the Gulf and the Indian Ocean. For almost 40 years, units of both the Royal Navy and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary have maintained a constant presence in the Gulf.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “Freedom of Navigation in the Strait of Hormuz is vital not just to the UK, but also our international partners and allies. Merchant ships must be free to travel lawfully and trade safely, anywhere in the world. I’m pleased that HMS DUNCAN will continue HMS MONTROSE’S fine work in helping to secure this essential route.
“While we continue to push for a diplomatic resolution that will make this possible again without military accompaniment, the Royal Navy will continue to provide a safeguard for UK vessels until this is the reality.”
image © Crown Copyright
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