RN warships absent from Gibraltar since February

Leo Olivero

Royal Navy vessels have not arrived in Gibraltar since early February nearly four months or one-third of 2018. In evaluating the situation one could say it really doesn’t say much or gives much credence to the frequent political and military sentiment about Gibraltar’s continuing importance as a Forward Mounting Base for operations, military exercises and to support humanitarian relief efforts. 

Either the latter point is correct, or this part of the Mediterranean since February has been on a total downtime in terms of international political exchanges serious criminal activity or large-scale migration (humanitarian) activity, which I don’t think is the case at all.

In fact, it was the 9 February this year when Gibraltar had the honour of welcoming to our waters and naval base Britain’s newest Aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth (QE) who made the Rock her first port of call outside the United Kingdom.

Many thought then it welcomed a new era for Gibraltar and the much talked about but underused facilities on the Rock as the only permanent British joint operating base for UK operations in the region. However, Gibraltar quite proudly rolled out the red carpet for HMS QE and gave the vessel a right royal welcome.