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Sutherland aids a local fisherman with engine problems in the Arabian Gulf
Al Faw Alongside Umm Qsar Jetty
HMS Blyth & HMS Ramsey

Gulf Operations  The Gulf is an area, spanning some 2.5 million square miles, of considerable strategic importance.  The UK has strong political and commercial and trading links with the region including a large expatriate community.  A maritime presence is one of the principal means by which we can demonstrate our continuing commitment to enduring peace and stability in the region, with particular emphasis on the restructuring of Iraq.

Units of the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary have been on patrol in the Gulf since October 1980, after the Iran/Iraq conflict of that year. Following the 2003 Gulf War additional contributions have been provided from Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel, forming the Naval Transition Team (NaTT) employed in training the Iraqi Navy. 

The United Kingdom provides a permanent contribution to the coalition Maritime Security Operations (MSO) under the command of the United Kingdom Component Commander.  The international coalition activities for Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) are commanded by Coalition Forces Maritime Component Command (CFMCC).  The United Kingdom Commander also deputises for the USN Coalition Force Maritime Component Commander in the coalition command.

Coalition Command Structure Coalition Command Structure The ship contributions to the coalition Maritime Security Operations (MSO) consists of at least one escort, supported by a tanker of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, within the Operational area (which includes the Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Northern Arabian Sea and Red Sea) at all times. Whilst not always specifically nominated a second Frigate or Destroyer is at notice to reinforce this presence if required.



A weekly update of ships deployed to the Gulf area can be found on the Fleet Deployments page.