Middle East

Navy Ships And Personnel Line Up For Gulf Commander's Send-Off

Commodore Dean Bassett spent two years in charge of UK Maritime Component Command in the Middle East.

Six ships and more than 400 military personnel have lined up at the Royal Navy's senior Middle East command, bidding farewell to its commander.

Gathering on the jetty at UK Maritime Component Command for a 'panorama' photo opportunity, tri-service personnel marked the departure of Commodore Dean Bassett after two years in charge.

One frigate, four minehunters, a support vessel and 403 service members, who operate and support them, mustered for the first time since the new Bahrain base opened.

Two US Avenger-class minehunters joined HMS Chiddingfold and HMS Brocklesby, while the Type-23 HMS Montrose also took part.

UK Maritime Component Command is the naval operational headquarters in the Gulf.

Commodore Dean Bassett is leaves his role in the Gulf after two years in charge (Picture: Royal Navy).

Some of the staff joining the event work with the US, directing Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), the coalition of more than 30 nations aiming to protect shipping from Suez to Pakistan and beyond.

"The professionalism, sense of duty, commitment and humour has been quite extraordinary, particularly during the past 12 months when the global pandemic has made life much more demanding," said Cdre Bassett, handing over his role to Cdre Ed Ahlgren, who will now also become deputy commander of CMF.

Cdre Ahlgren takes over having previously commanded one of the coalition’s major task groups, CTF 150, which is focused on maritime security across more than two million square miles of ocean and has been operating since the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US in 2001.

During Cdre Bassett's time in charge, the frigate has become the Royal Navy's permanent major presence east of Suez – safeguarding shipping and conducting drug busts.

Cover image: Six ships and 403 personnel under the direction of UK Maritime Component Command (Picture: Royal Navy).