Middle East

Royal Navy Officer Takes Command Of Gulf Maritime Security Mission

Commodore James Parkin takes over from the US Navy's Rear Admiral Alvin Holsey.

A Royal Navy officer has formally taken up leadership of the international mission to protect commercial ships in the Gulf.

Commodore James Parkin succeeds US Navy Rear Admiral Alvin Holsey and will lead the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC) for around four months.

The IMSC is represented by military forces from the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Albania.

Its members conduct maritime surveillance in a region where threats to commercial shipping have increased since summer 2019.

Four tankers were attacked off the coast of the United Arab Emirates last year, while British flagged tanker Stena Impero was seized.

The IMSC aims to aid the free flow of trade through the waters, while providing a deterrent to illegal activity.

Cdre Parkin said: "While the UK continues to call for de-escalation, the safety and security of our citizens and our interests in the region are of paramount concern to the UK and all other members of the IMSC."

Cover image: Commodore James Parkin (Picture: MOD).