During a routine visit to Doha, Qatar, HMS Monmouth hosted 25 NATO Parliamentarians to showcase the ship and its capabilities.
Led by British Member of Parliament, Sir John Stanley, the Transatlantic Defence and Security Co-operation sub-committee comprised delegates representing 11 different NATO countries. Their visit to the Type 23 frigate was part of an on-going mission to examine the contribution of the armed forces of NATO member countries to the security and stability of the region, and to understand current military operations.
This provided an excellent opportunity for the Black Duke to detail first-hand the ways in which she has provided assurance, assistance and deterrence whilst patrolling the busy sea lanes of the Arabian Gulf, in support of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) and Combined Task Force 152.
Speaking of the visit, Lieutenant Pete Hovington Royal Navy, Monmouth’s Deputy Marine Engineer Officer, stated “This visit has provided a great opportunity to bring to life the interface between politicians and the assets which are charged to deliver an overall military effect”.
The UK is committed to a standing presence in the Gulf to ensure freedom of navigation in international waters and the Royal Navy has been operating in this area for over thirty years, with HMS Monmouth herself conducting four deployments to the region over the past five years. These missions protect not only UK interests but also those of the wider international community, and play a key role in supporting CMF in their efforts to restrict the illegal trafficking of drugs and weapons as well as other illicit activity.
The delegation also visited the CMF headquaters in Bahrain as part of their tour of the region. Commodore Ancona who hosted the delegation on behalf of CMF said of the visit: “In order to guarantee the longevity of an organisation like CMF, it is vital we engage with and communicate our capability to our nation’s parliamentarians.” He continued: “Judging by the feedback of the delegation they have left the region with an appreciation of the challenges faced by CMF and the units deployed to the region”