Royal Navy minehunter hosts the Secretary of State for Defence

The Ship’s Company of a Royal Navy minehunter based in the Gulf welcomed a special guest onboard when the Secretary of State for Defence took time out of his busy schedule to meet sailors alongside in Bahrain this weekend.

The Right Honourable Michael Fallon MP, the Secretary of State for Defence, was in Bahrain to take part in the Manama Dialogue, at which a historic basing arrangement was signed with the Bahrain. 

The Defence Secretary took the opportunity to visit Gulf-based minehunter HMS Shoreham alongside in Mina Salman Port this weekend.

Mr Fallon was accompanied to the ship by Commodore Keith Blount OBE Royal Navy, the most senior Royal Navy officer in the Gulf and Middle East region.  

The men and women serving in HMS Shoreham are at the forefront of ensuring that UK interests are protected and secured in this dynamic region.

Michael Fallon MP

The Defence Secretary said: “The men and women serving in HMS Shoreham are at the forefront of ensuring that UK interests are protected and secured in this dynamic region.

“I thank them for their efforts and for welcoming me to their ship today.”

Mr Fallon was met onboard HMS Shoreham by Lieutenant Commander Simon Kelly Royal Navy, the ship’s Commanding Officer, before talking to members of the Ship’s Company over lunch.

Able Seaman (Diver) Stephen Kenrick from Widnes said: “It was a real honour to meet the Secretary of State for Defence. 

He appreciated the work we do out here and it really put into perspective that my contribution makes a difference.”

Commodore Blount said: “The UK has had strong links with Bahrain for almost 200 years and the Royal Navy has maintained a shore-based presence here since the 9/11 attacks in 2001. 

“The basing of Royal Navy minehunters in Bahrain supports UK national interests by ensuring freedom of navigation for international commerce in an area that includes three of the six major maritime chokepoints in the world. 

“The men and women of HMS Shoreham were true ambassadors for the outstanding work that the Royal Navy does in this dynamic and ever-changing region.”