HMS Daring showed what she can bring to security and stability in the Gulf region when she dropped in on her Saudi partners.
The list of firsts on the Portsmouth-based warship’s maiden deployment now includes: first visit to Jubail, home of the Saudi’s Eastern Fleet, where she was shown off to senior commanders, VIPs and local youngsters.
Pictures: LA(Phot) Keith Morgan, HMS Daring
THIS panorama from the bridge offers the first sight of Saudi Arabia’s main east coast naval base as Britain’s most advanced warship pays her inaugural visit to Jubail.
HMS Daring, on her maiden deployment, made an official stop in Saudi Arabia to reinforce the country’s strong relationship with the UK.
The port – also known as Al Jubayl – lies just 80 miles northwest from Bahrain, the hub of the RN’s operations in the Gulf region which has served as a ‘home from home’ for the Type 45 destroyer since she left Portsmouth back in January.
The visit afforded a good opportunity to host 200 selected guests and VIPs where HMS Daring could display her impressive capabilities as an air defence warship.
Daring’s CO Capt Guy Robinson chats with senior Saudi officers aboard his ship
Helping to reinforce the good working relationships that exists between the UK and Saudi Arabia, of which both are committed to the fight against global terrorism, the visit also emphasised the strong military bond.
The Royal Navy’s senior officer in the region – UK Maritime Component Commander, Cdre Simon Ancona, – who was in the kingdom for an official visit, also attended.
“It was a great privilege for me to take HMS Daring alongside in Al Jubayl for the first time. The visit provided an excellent opportunity to build on the strong relationship between the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia,” said Daring’s Commanding Officer Capt Guy Robinson.
“They make a very significant contribution to fighting terrorism in the region while being a trusted naval partner. This visit to Saudi Arabia was a first for me and a large number of my ship’s company and it was a welcome break in a busy period working with Combined Maritime Forces.”
Daring's rugby team (in the rather fancy black/red kit) power to victory against the Al Khobar Quins
Daring is attached to those combined forces on a wide-ranging maritime security mission – tackling piracy, smuggling, people-trafficking, terrorism and other criminal activities – as well as working with Coalition and regional allies.
The tried-and-tested mutual bonding over a sporting match also took place with Daring’s rugby team beating local side The Al Khobar Quins 36-5. Around 30 senior Saudi naval personnel were also given tours of the ship as well as 50 local schoolchildren.
Lt Thomas Wyatt, who helped host the tours, said: “It was great to be able to show the Saudis our ship. It is always really useful to show our allies and partners in the Gulf our capabilities. However it is always a pleasure to show a group of enthusiastic schoolchildren around as well.”