Recently, the Royal Navy confirmed that the situation in the Strait has been stable, adding their presence has stabilised the commercial shipping operations. The overall tensions in the area, spiked tensions and the UK decided to lead in a new international maritime security mission, in collaboration with the US navy to assure the security of merchant vessels in the Strait of Hormuz.
The British-flagged merchant vessels were accompanied in and out of the Gulf by HMS Montrose, her sister frigate HMS Kent and the destroyers HMS Duncan and HMS Defender due to the tensions with Iran.
The warships and their helicopters were employed to travel along the British ships in order to ensure their safely transfer in and out of the Gulf, supporting the international trade and the oil and natural gas market in particular, due to the facing threats.
Notably, the HMS Kent has carried out most of the patrols recently, establishing the safe passage for more than 800,000 tonnes of shipping for three weeks straight. In fact, the Wildcat helicopter obtained by the vessel can overview hundreds of square miles of the Gulf for any signs of danger; covering an area twice the size of Wales. HMS Kent’s Commanding Officer, Commander Andrew Brown said that “We are a close-knit team and I am extremely proud of what my sailors have achieved over the last few months”.
Moreover, the more than 200 Royal Marines and sailors on board the warships have still to compensate with the demanding and challenging temperatures reaching at highs at a range of 100 degrees Fahrenheit even in late September, not mentioning the physical and mental challenges of their guarding task.
The destroyer HMS Duncan which overlooked over 1,287,209 tonnes of shipping throughout its 29 runs through the Strait has now returned to Portsmouth. Namely, for Commander Tom Trent, the mission may have been challenging yet was very rewarding as they received emails from ships and seafarers who thanked them for their contribution for a safe passage. He also stated that
Protecting shipping is what the Royal Navy has done for hundreds of years. The whole operation is a reminder of how critical the Royal Navy is.