HMS Montrose and two Mine Counter Measure Vessels (MCMVs) hosted the UK’s Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology during a port visit to the United Arab Emirates.
Mr Philip Dunne MP visited Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose and MCMVs HMS Quorn and HMS Atherstone whilst they were alongside in Abu Dhabi carrying out regional engagement duties as part of Op Kipion.
The minister had lunch with the warships’ Commanding Officers before meeting crew members and having a guided tour of the vessels.
Commander James Parkin, Commanding Officer of HMS Montrose, said, “It was a great honour to welcome the minister onboard and to be able to show him the capabilities of not only my ship but the vitally important mine hunters too.”
During his tour of HMS Montrose, Mr Dunne visited the ship’s bridge where Lieutenant Paul Hamblin, Montrose’s navigation officer, explained the multitude of systems used to keep the ship navigationally safe.
On the fo’c’sle Chief Petty Officer David Bent listed and described the uses for HMS Montrose’s assortment of weapons; ranging from the SA80 assault rifle to the 4.5 inch gun and Harpoon anti-ship missiles.
Chief Petty Officer Bent said, “It was a pleasure to meet the minister and discuss HMS Montrose’s 4.5 inch gun. We talked about its use in our current theatre and the challenges of maintaining it in such a hot climate.”
The operation and use of Montrose’s two Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boats (RHIBs) and the Lynx Mk8 helicopter was explained by Captain Chris Nightingale RM, the Officer Commanding the Royal Marines (OCRM) for the RHIBs, Lieutenant Joseph Keane, the Flight Commander, and Lance Corporal Oliver Moran RM.
Lieutenant Keane said, “I enjoyed discussing the Lynx Mk8 with Mr Dunne. He was particularly interested in how we’ve been employed during Op Kipion and was surprised to hear about the level of serviceability the aircraft engineers had managed to maintain during the high operational tempo, and he praised their efforts.”
Lance Corporal Moran said, “Meeting the MP was a fantastic opportunity to show off our equipment. We discussed the job at hand and how different items of equipment could make carrying out our tasks easier and safer. He took great interest in our current operations and was impressed at how the Royal Marine element has integrated so well with the Ship’s Company.”
The minister finished his tour onboard HMS Quorn where he was briefed on her role in the Middle East by Lieutenant Commander Eleanor Stack, Commanding Officer; HMS Quorn.
He also received demonstrations of the ‘Sea Fox’ remote control mine disposal system and the ship’s diving equipment from Petty Officer Cooke, from Leading Diver Duncan respectively.
Press Release, November 19, 2013; Image: Royal Navy