UAE: Black Duke Resumes Security Patrols after Maintenance

Black Duke Resumes Security Patrols after Maintenance

HMS Monmouth has returned to routine maritime security patrols of the Gulf after a two-week maintenance period in the heat of Dubai.

While in port the crew hosted Royal Navy Fleet Commander, Vice Admiral Philip Jones and spruced up the frigate (known as the Black Duke) to the high standard expected from the Navy. At the mid-point of its seven- month operational patrol of the Arabian Gulf, HMS Monmouth had the rare opportunity to welcome Vice Admiral Jones onboard.

It also gave the newly appointed Fleet Commander a chance to meet the ship and her crew while deployed first-hand for the first time since he took command of the fleet earlier this year. However, he is a familiar face onboard the Black Duke in a previous role – he was last onboard just before it deployed for the Gulf five months ago.

Admiral Jones discussed the progress of the Royal Navy’s front-line frigate and presented efficiency awards to the ship’s electronic warfare department and medals to Plymouth residents Petty Officer Lee Marriott and Warrant Officer Kevan Jan Stoddard (MBE) for 15 years’ and 30 years’ long service and good conduct respectively.

Keeping a 4,900 tonne warship and her 200 crew on station as the UK’s commitment to Maritime security for seven months takes a lot of combined effort.

For the Black Duke the two-week ‘pit stop’ was the perfect chance to ensure the ship continues operating at optimum performance throughout its remaining patrols East of Suez.

Stores were re-stocked, oil was changed, the inevitable minor rust stripped back and paint applied across the 133-metre length of the ship, all the way from the top of the main mast to the black waterline of the hull.

Naval Today Staff, March 6, 2013; Image: Royal Navy