I recently found the story below on the MOD website which gives an insight into one of the less well known aspects of UK and coalition operations in the Middle East. From the MOD website Perhaps this in some ways highlights the importance of the naval/maritime part of Telic. The threat from terrorists, pirates and other criminals is real, you may remember a terrorist incident off the Iraqi coast in 2004 in which several American sailors died. However, it must be dealt with if Iraq is to have any chance of reconstruction. See Ring of Steel Protects Iraqi Lifeblood Also see Maritime Security Operations Coalition maritime forces operate throughout international waters in the Arabian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean, and the Red Sea, conducting MSO. Within this area, at any one time......... 1. There are about fifty warships conducting MSO operations, mostly frigates and destroyers. To put that into context, it is twice the number we have after the Hoon cuts, and is twice the number sent south in 1982. 2. About twenty of these are in the Persian/Arabian Gulf itself. 3. A number are constantly patrolling the Iraqi coast. 4. Supporting assets include submarines (in an ISTAR role, as they did in the Adriatic in the 90s), tankers and other support vessels, and maritime patrol aircraft (including our own Nimrods). 5. Most of the equipment used by UK forces is transported by sea, and the vessels involved have to be escorted and protected in other ways. This also applies to shipments of equipment to Pakistani ports for use in Afghanistan.