Royal Navy destroyer HMS Diamond has shared her boarding expertise with the United Arab Emirates frigate Murayjib, in the Arabian Gulf.  As part of a larger international training exercise, ‘Falcon Warrior’, the UK, along with other Coalition partners, continue to work with regional nations in the coordination of maritime security in support of the safe and legitimate use of the seas.

Officers from the UAE Navy were welcomed onboard HMS Diamond to be given a capability brief of the Navy’s newest operational Type 45 destroyer and a brief on the Royal Navy’s practice of boarding operations.  Diamond uses her two 40 knot seaboats and Lynx helicopter to deliver teams of Royal Marine and Royal Navy personnel onto vessels of interest.

In a typical boarding scenario Diamond’s Lynx aircraft appears overhead and circles as the ship approaches a suspect vessel.  As the destroyer draws near, the sea boats are launched and speed to the target, delivering the boarding team.  Diamond remains close and the helicopter provides additional protection in the form of a sniper team and heavy machine gun. If the teams are required to board a suspect vessel, they do so in accordance with international law and carry out a search for evidence of illegal activity, questioning the crew in an effort to combat smuggling, piracy and other illegal activity.

“These exercises are essential in ensuring that ships of the Combined Maritime Forces can all work together effectively with a common understanding of procedures,” said Commander Ian Clarke Royal Navy, Diamond’s Commanding Officer.  “We demonstrated how the Royal Navy and Royal Marines conduct boarding and our Emirati colleagues shared their first hand local knowledge to enhance our understanding of the area.”

Diamond is currently operating in the Middle East under Combined Task Force 152, along with ships from other navies who are committed to providing greater security to the region.  On completion of her six month scheduled deployment, Diamond will return to her home port of Portsmouth in December 2012.