Royal Navy warship celebrates 1,000 days during Gulf mission where six tonnes of drugs seized and sea lanes kept open

A ROYAL Navy warship has seized over six tonnes of drugs during its successful mission in the Gulf as it today celebrates 1,000 days in the region keeping sea lanes open and tackling drug smugglers.

Wednesday, 5th January 2022, 12:28 pm

HMS Montrose, supported by the Royal Marines, has been in the Middle East since April 11, 2019, working with British and allied vessels to safeguard shipping, keep sea lanes open and stop drug trafficking.

Read More

Read More
Nicola Sturgeon pays tribute to Portchester naval engineer Vic Emery who died be...

The warship, operating out of Bahrain where navy ships are supported in the Gulf at the UK Naval Support Facility, Montrose has seized 734kg of heroin, 500kg of methadone, and 5,533kg of cannabis.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

HMS Montrose celebrates 1,000 days in the Gulf. Pic Royal Navy

The frigate has also been instrumental in denying funding to criminal organisations.

During its 1,000 days in the region Montrose has also sailed 163,000 nautical miles – equal to more than seven and a half times around the globe.

It has accompanied 112 vessels through the Strait of Hormuz, received 6,750 bags of mail, served over 28,000 portions of fish and chips for Friday lunches and consumed over 300,000 sausages.

Montrose was at the heart of global events when she first arrived in the region after threats and attacks on merchant shipping which have since calmed. The ship now works with several multi-national task groups to ensure shipping is safe and key sea lanes remain open.

HMS Montrose sailing in the Gulf. Photo: AET Josh Edwards

Commodore Ed Ahlgren, Commander UK Maritime Component Command, said of Montrose’s mission: ‘I am delighted to mark 1,000 days of HMS Montrose in theatre.

‘She has had many successes whilst in the region, including narcotics seizures and maintaining free and safe passage for shipping around three of the busiest trade chokepoints in the world.

‘Montrose and her crews should be proud of what they have achieved.’

Montrose was in the vanguard of a programme to deploy major Royal Navy warships around the world for several years at a time.

Patrol ships have since been committed to the Caribbean, Mediterranean and, most recently, Asia-Pacific region on extended missions.

The initiative spares ships the long journey home to the UK every six months, with maintenance being carried out on locations.

Commander Claire Thompson, Commanding Officer of Montrose’s Starboard Crew, who are in charge of the ship until spring, said: ‘I am immensely proud of what both crews have achieved during the past three years.

‘Our enduring presence in this region has shown the commitment the UK has to ensure the stability and security of the Gulf region along with our allies.

‘This couldn’t be achieved without the commitment of our personnel and their support from their families back home.’

Regular rotation of sailors has also offered a boost to those on board by allowing them to plan their lives back in the UK better.

Weapon Engineer Officer Lieutenant Commander Ellis Pearson said: ‘It allows me and my family a high degree of certainty of when I’ll be away.

‘Normally your programme is driven by the tasking of the ship, which can change at very short notice, but with two crews we are de-latched from that when back in the UK.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

Subscribe here for unlimited access to all our coverage, including Pompey, for just 26p a day.