two Royal Navy warships have met up to exchange information ahead of a major deployment.
Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose and Portsmouth-based Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon came together off the Horn of Africa.
HMS Montrose is on her way to take over as the Royal Navy’s Gulf guardian, a role which has belonged to HMS Dragon for the past few months.
The crews of both ships took the opportunity of their close proximity to exchange information and stores.
Captain Iain Lower, the commanding officer of HMS Dragon, said: ‘The last five months have been challenging and rewarding in equal measure. As we pass the baton of maintaining our enduring presence in the Gulf we do so having achieved much to advance our understanding of the Type 45 destroyer, particularly when operating in company with air carriers and other air defenders.’
He added: ‘I wish HMS Montrose every success over the next six months and in cementing relations with our Gulf partners.’
Off the east African coast, HMS Montrose’s Lynx helicopter transferred equipment between the ships and allowed face-to-face meetings to take place.
HMS Montrose’s previous deployment took her to the cool waters of the South Atlantic, a contrast to the heat of the Gulf.
The navy’s security patrols are designed to keep the peace in one of the world’s vital shipping lanes for energy supply.
Lieutenant Joseph Sharples is the Lynx helicopter pilot on board HMS Montrose.
He said: ‘After all the training we have conducted, the ship feels fully prepared to deal with any challenges we might be presented with over the coming months.
‘It will be difficult being away from loved ones over Christmas and New Year, but everybody recognises the vital role we’re playing.’