British Royal Navy Type 22 frigate HMS Cumberland was at Mina Salman, Bahrain, on November 1-2, for the start of her deployment to the Gulf.
The 5,300-tonne frigate will undertake maritime security duties with Combined Task Force 152 (CTF-152), an international maritime task force which works to prevent destabilising activities and promote maritime security throughout Arabian Gulf.
Currently commanded by Kuwait, it has also included participation from Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, France, Australia and the United States. It is one of three task forces operated by Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), a global maritime partnership based at the US NAVCENT/Fifth Fleet Headquarters in Bahrain. CMF’s main focus areas are countering terrorism, preventing piracy, reducing illegal activities, and promoting a safe maritime environment.
HMS Cumberland’s commanding officer, Captain Steve Dainton said: “My crew have trained hard over the past couple of months and are at an extremely high standard. The ship is operationally focused and we are particularly looking forward to working alongside regional partners and coalition navies”.
HMS Cumberland relieved the Type 23 frigate HMS Somerset, which had been in the region since May. HMS Somerset had served with all three of CMF’s taskforces, CTF-150, which carries out maritime security throughout the Middle East: CTF-151 which is concerned with anti-piracy in the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin; and CTF-152. Over the past six months the ship conducted over 210 Approach and Assurance Visits (AAVs) of dhows and other merchant traffic, reassuring the seafaring community and ensuring the safety of commercial maritime activities.
Whilst in Bahrain, both ships’ companies took a brief but well deserved break, enjoying the facilities at the naval base and exploring the island.