The war on terror - at sea

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.
Never mind that. Warships and Auxiliaries can defend themselves and will; especially since the USS Cole was hit. On the other hand; cruise ships are sitting ducks in ports where the police/navy/coastguard are amateurs. I say it’s overdue. Mr Complacent says

It’ll never happen here……………………..
Indeed, it did happen to the oil tanker Limburg, which nearly caused shipping insurance (and hence oil) prices to go up, until NATO and other forces started operating in the Gulf of Aden.

Hence these forces are needed.
I really don't think that Crabs and Pongo's realise how much work and effort goes into the maritime side of Telic and Veritas. It is bloody hard work and is rarely commented on back in the UK.

A lot of the stuff can't be commented on either due to sensitivity etc which can be frustrating.

CTF58 got a mention due to the fact it was 'shocking' that a UK task force took command from a USN warship in the NAG protecting the KAOOT and ABOT. The usual bollox appeared in the Scum etc. Their defence correspondant truely is a moronic idiot of the highest proprotions....

The first RN ship on the scene of the Cole bombing in Aden was a certain Capt Anthony Rix who is now Rear Admiral Rix who took command of CTF150 last year which had to cover an area in excess of 2 million square miles which certainly isn't a small feat. Since then, the French, Pakistani and Dutch navy have taken charge of CTF150.


Now this is off topic, so I apologise, but....

Last night I was watching the BBC which was describing the actions of the Israeli navy, and I looked at the footage off the coast and thought, thats a frigate, that's not Israeli. Angle changed, and I managed to make out the tricoleur. Now I worked at the beeb, but it does annoy me when things like that happen and I notice it :evil:
Defence news had a piece in the return of HMS Bulawrk and her very mixed deployment.

HMS Bulwark welcomed home........

During the deployment, the unique Commando Assault ship has developed an entirely new way of operating to protect the vital oil infrastructure in Iraqi waters and to keep the troubled waters off Somalia safe for the millions of tonnes of shipping that passes through.

The ship’s eight landing craft have also been detached up to 150 miles away from the ship for extended periods enabling ‘Formation Bulwark’ to cover an unprecedented area of sea, forcing terrorists and other maritime criminals to re-assess their intentions in these waters.

At the same time the ship has experimented in deploying training teams of Commandos and sailors to up to six countries at a time in East Africa and Arabia, some times up to 4,000 miles away from the ship, so that they can train regional forces to be better able to take on security duties themselves.

That was before Lebanon.

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