A bow shot of HMS Montrose while refuelling from USNS Big Horn 18022021 CREDIT NAVY.jpg
A bow shot of HMS Montrose while refuelling from USNS Big Horn during Gulf exercises last year (Picture: Royal Navy).
Navy

In numbers: Warship HMS Montrose marks 1,000-day Gulf milestone

She has sailed 163,000 nautical miles – more than 7.5 times around the globe – and seized more than 6.5 tonnes of drugs.

A bow shot of HMS Montrose while refuelling from USNS Big Horn 18022021 CREDIT NAVY.jpg
A bow shot of HMS Montrose while refuelling from USNS Big Horn during Gulf exercises last year (Picture: Royal Navy).

Warship HMS Montrose has celebrated 1,000 days in the Gulf – keeping sea lanes open and tackling drug smugglers.

The Royal Navy frigate and her 200 sailors and Royal Marines have provided a constant presence in the Middle East since 11 April 2019.

During that time, Montrose has been involved in the seizure of more than 6.5 tonnes of illegal narcotics – 734kg of heroin, 500kg of meth and 5,533kg of hash – ultimately restricting funding to criminal and terrorist organisations.

In her 1,000 days in theatre, the Royal Navy warship has sailed 163,000 nautical miles, equal to more than 7.5 times around the globe, has accompanied 112 vessels through the Strait of Hormuz and has received 6,750 bags of mail.

Also during that time, more than 28,000 portions of fish and chips have been served for Friday lunches and Montrose's ship's company have consumed in excess of 300,000 sausages, which laid end-to-end would be 31 times taller than Big Ben's tower.

HMS Montrose has been working with other British and allied vessels to safeguard shipping, keep sea lanes open and stop trafficking.

In March last year, she seized more than £3m of drugs in a major Gulf bust, the third in just over a month after confiscating £11m worth of narcotics over two operations in mid-February in the same waters.

Commodore Ed Ahlgren, Commander UK Maritime Component Command, senior Royal Navy officer in the Middle East, was "delighted" to mark HMS Montrose's milestone and her "many successes".

He added: "Montrose and her crews should be proud of what they have achieved."

HMS Montrose crew shot, warship celebrates 1,000 day milestone 05012022 CREDIT ROYAL NAVY.jpg
HMS Montrose's 200-strong crew have received 6,750 bags of mail, consumed more than 300,000 sausages and travelled 7.5 times around the globe (Picture: Royal Navy).

Commander Claire Thompson, Commanding Officer of Montrose's Starboard Crew, which is in charge of the ship until spring, said she was "immensely proud" of the crews.

"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," she said.

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

After nearly three years since HMS Montrose's arrival into Bahrain, the situation has eased substantially, but the frigate continues to work with several multinational task groups to ensure shipping is safe and key sea lanes remain open.