Jan 31, 2014
ROYAL NAVY STRENGTHENS PRESENCE IN GIBRALTAR
The Royal Navy has sent additional personnel to Gibraltar to strengthen its Gibraltar Squadron in response to Spanish maritime incursions into British territorial waters.
The Gibraltar Squadron has increased from two to three crews – around 25 sailors in total – to enable 24-hour coverage, although the number of vessels they operate remains the same.
The decision to increase personnel was revealed in a response to a question in the House of Lords and came as Headquarters British Forces Gibraltar announced that the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Diamond was scheduled to arrive in Gibraltar on Sunday for a week-long visit as she sets out on a six month operational deployment to the Gulf.
The British Government has so far ruled out deploying larger naval vessels permanently in Gibraltar but has said repeatedly that Royal Navy warships will continue to call regularly at the Rock.
The Gibraltar Squadron’s third crew was sent to Gibraltar late last year following a rise in the number of incursions by Spanish state vessels into British Gibraltar territorial waters.
HMS Diamond is the third of six Type 45 air defence destroyers and is one of the most sophisticated warships in the world.