Royal Navy Warships Fly Flag for UK at Gulf Exhibition

The Royal Navy’s second most senior admiral visited UK ships deployed to the Gulf as they showcased the best of British at the region’s biggest defence exhibition.

Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Phillip Jones dropped in on frigate HMS Northumberland and minehunters Shoreham and Ramsey, which were flying the flag for the UK at Abu Dhabi’s International Defence Exhibition.

Admiral Jones used the visit to thank Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel for their continuing efforts. Four RN minehunters, two frigates, one submarine and two Royal Fleet Auxiliary support ships, plus supporting Fleet Air Arm helicopters, are deployed east of Suez as part of the Navy’s and nation’s long-standing commitment to the region. In all, that effort involves around 1,200 men and women from the Senior Service.

After visiting the UK Maritime Trade Operations office in Dubai, which provides vital information and advice to merchant seafarers east of Suez, the admiral stressed the importance of the ongoing struggle to sweep criminal activity from the seas of the Middle East.

“Piracy, drug smuggling, human trafficking and kidnapping have wider implications for global security, no longer being regional challenges,” he said.

“As much as 80 per cent of international trade goes by sea – generating £230 billion per year. Yet 95 per cent of global trade passes through just nine vulnerable maritime chokepoints – some of them here in the Middle East. Therefore, the UK has a strong interest in keeping good ties with the UAE and the Gulf navies.”

Piracy, drug smuggling, human trafficking and kidnapping have wider implications for global security, no longer being regional challenges,

Admiral Jones