HMS Daring Visits Oman

HMS Daring Visits Oman

Britain’s most hi-tech warship paid her first visit to Oman with a three-day visit to the country’s picturesque capital, Muscat. After working with the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the Arabian Sea, the destroyer took part in military, cultural and sporting events on her debut in the sultanate.

Approaching arguably the lushest of the great ports in the Gulf region for the first time, HMS Daring prepares to make her inaugural visit to Muscat, capital of Oman.

These are the approaches to the heart of the city – the Muttrah district – dominated by the Portuguese-built 17th Century Fort Muttrah, perched on its rocky crag.

Just out of shot on the right is Port Sultan Qaboos, the Type 45 destroyer’s home for three days.

Once alongside, a busy programme saw the ship’s company host groups of personnel from the Omani Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, and the Coast Guard. Groups were given tours of Daring – they were particularly impressed by the space aboard and quarters for the 200-sailors and Royal Marines aboard – and later attended an official reception.

Guests included Captain Badr Bin Khaklfan Al Zidjali, Head of the Omani Coast Guard and senior representatives from the Omani Navy, Army and Air Force, as well as Jamie Bowden, UK Ambassador to Oman.

The ship’s football team – playing in the colours of Aston Villa to celebrate ties with their affiliated city – were able to squeeze in a fixture against Muscat Storm FC at the Arsenal Soccer School ground. It was a hard-fought encounter which the home side won 3-2.

“It was really generous of the Storm Football Club to host us for a game. The 30-plus-degree heat made playing conditions difficult, even though we were playing at night it was still a great game,” said NA(AC) Phil Monk.

Capt Guy Robinson, Daring’s Commanding Officer – and like his ship visiting the Omani capital for the first time – added: “The United Kingdom has very strong historical military links with Oman, which the UK is committed to not only maintaining but deepening further and this visit has certainly strengthened relationships.

“Muscat makes for an excellent visit and I know my team have enjoyed this short break in our demanding deployment.” 

Daring is in the later stages of her inaugural deployment providing maritime security at sea in the Gulf and Middle East and working with the UK’s long-standing allies in the region; HMS Diamond has just left Portsmouth to take D32’s place east of Suez.

Naval Today Staff , June 15, 2012; Image: Royal Navy