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        HMS Scimitar

        HMS Scimitar and her sister Ship HMS Sabre form the core of the Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron. Operating from HM Naval Base Gibraltar the two Scimitar-class patrol boats, 21 personnel, and three Pacific rigid-hulled inflatable boats are an efficient and effective unit. 

        HMS Scimitar opearting off Gibraltar

        The role of RNGS is to provide Force Protection to visiting coalition warships, conduct maritime security patrols within British Gibraltar Territorial Waters and support a variety of operations within the Joint Operating Area. 

        A small unit at high readiness Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron performs a broad array of tasks in a dense shipping environment.


        Rob Garner

        Rob Garner
        HMS Enterprise, Portland
        Military experience

        Rob Garner was educated at Saddleworth School and Greenhead Sixth Form College. He joined the Royal Navy in September 2004, shortly after completing his A-Level exams.

        During his time at Britannia Royal Naval College, Rob completed Initial Sea Training in HMS Invincible, joining the aircraft carrier for part of her final deployment. After passing out from the College in August 2005, he completed his Common and Specialist Fleet Time training in HM Ships Chatham and Enterprise.

        This included participating in events to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar, survey operations in the Gulf, and a patrol in the South Atlantic.

        Selected for navigation training, in March 2007 Rob commenced his first complement appointment as the Navigating Officer in the HUNT Class minehunter HMS Ledbury. There followed 2 very enjoyable years, firstly on Fishery Protection tasking round the UK, before re-generating the Ship’s mine warfare capability and deploying around the Mediterranean and north west Europe with the Standing NATO MCM Group 2.

        Rob joined the Type 23 frigate HMS Portland in March 2009 as Officer of Watch 1 half way through the Ship’s OP Calash deployment to the Indian Ocean. For the next 4 months Portland operated in the vanguard of coalition efforts to interdict the transport of illegal narcotics across the seas from Asia, and made a significant contribution to the safety of merchant shipping in the Gulf of Aden, sweeping the Somali coastline, capturing and arresting pirates on numerous occasions.

        On return to the UK, Rob completed the Fleet Navigating Officers course, and stepped-up to become the Navigating Officer in Portland in January 2010.

        From April to November 2010 the Ship undertook a wide-ranging Atlantic Patrol Tasking (South) deployment, which included 4 months’ patrol tasking around the Falkland Islands and South Georgia, participation in a Fleet Review to mark the bicentenary of Chilean independence, Anglo-US counter-narcotic operations in the Pacific, a transit of the Panama Canal, and finally defence diplomacy work in Ghana.

        In 2011 Portland supported navigation and warfare training exercises around the UK and off Gibraltar, and made high-profile visits to the Pool of London and the Netherlands.

        In January 2012 Rob joined the staff of Flag Officer Sea Training (Mine Warfare and Patrol Vessels) as a Staff Navigator. Throughout 17 highly rewarding months on the Staff, Rob delivered sea training to mine warfare and patrol ships in the UK, and also travelled to Bahrain and the Falkland Islands numerous times to conduct training on ships in theatre.

        Rob had the honour of assuming command of HMS Scimitar in July 2013.

        Rob lives in Saddleworth, on the edge of the Peak District National Park, and within striking distance of his home city of Manchester. He has avid interests in history, British and international politics, current affairs, cars, music and sport. A keen runner, cyclist, swimmer, and gym-goer, when times allows he prefers nothing better than getting out and climbing mountains in the English Lake District and Scottish Highlands.




        A traditional Christmas tree for the men of 40 Commando on active duty in Afghanistan
        Royal Navy’s global Christmas presence thanks to one in seven of its men and women
        21 December 2012

        More than 4,800 men and women – one in every...

        Scimitar crosses to North Africa to work with the Moroccans and honour UK war dead
        Scimitar crosses to North Africa to work with the Moroccans and honour UK war dead
        30 November 2012

        Gibraltar guardian HMS Scimitar left the Rock behind to make...

        HMS Northumberland ails into Gibraltar in a co-ordinated entry along with the task group for Operation Cougar 12
        The Rock’s rockin’ with warships as Cougar task force visits Gibraltar
        16 October 2012

        Gibraltar Harbour bristled with battleship grey as four of the...

        Gibraltar Squadron Busy With Exercises
        Gibraltar Squadron Busy With Exercises
        06 August 2012

        While Royal Navy personnel protect the Olympics others are making...


        Gibraltar Squadron

        CURRENT STATUS: active

        Provide force protection and security to Gibraltar's maritime environment, enforce and assert the sovereign integrity of British Gibraltar Territorial Waters, whilst contributing to the overall defence effort















        Top Speed


        Range (Nautical)

        260nautical miles

        TAKE A LOOK

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        HMS Scimitar HISTORY

        • First HMS Scimitar

          Launched on 27 February 1918 and commissioned on 29 April of the same year, H21 or HMS Scimitar – an Admiralty S-class destroyer built by the John Brown Shipbuilding & Engineering Company in Scotland – took part in the British evacuation ‘Operation Dynamo Dunkerque’ but was seriously damaged by bombing on 28 May 1940.

        • Battle History

          Towards the end of WW2 she was instrumental in the sinking of the German submarine U-651 off Iceland. Depth charges from HMS Scimitar, along with the destroyer HMS Malcolm, the corvettes HMS Arabis and HMS Violet and the minesweeper HMS Speedwell sunk the submarine on 29 June 1941.

        • Ship History

          She returned to Devonport, Plymouth for repairs after being rammed and holed on 26 April 1944. She was scrapped in 1947.

        • Ship History

          By the late 1960s the Royal Navy required a vessel to be used in the training role to give the Fleet more experience of the capabilities of fast, modern attack craft which were becoming available to potential enemies. P271 – HMS Scimitar – was launched in 1970 and formed one third of the Fast Training Boat Squadron based at Portland along with her sister ships HMS Cutlass and HMS Sabre. Constructed from laminated wood they displaced 102 tonnes and measured 30m length, a beam of 8m and drew 2m. Not armed, these Proteus gasturbine-powered craft could be armed with missiles and have a third ‘Proteus’ fitted to give them almost unrivalled performance compared to any military craft at the time. Collectively known as the Scimitar-class Fast Training Craft, P271, was designed and built by Vosper Thornycroft Ltd at their Portchester Yard in Hampshire. In the 1970s illegal immigration had become a major problem for Hong Kong. By the end of the 1970s the numbers of illegal immigrants had grown to such numbers that the stability of the colony was threatened. To alleviate this problem, HMS Scimitar (P271) was sent from the UK to augment the Royal Marines of No. 3 Marine Raiding Squadron in their rigid inflatables. Scimitar helped stem a flood of illegal immigrants into a trickle and by the end of 1980 the number of arrests had dropped from 90,000 to 10,000.

        • Return to the UK

          In 1981 Scimitar returned to the UK and along with her sister ships of the same class she was placed on the disposal list and subsequently bought by Greek interests and renamed Aquilon.

        • Current HMS Scimitar

          The current HMS Scimitar, wearing the pennant number P284 was launched in December 1992 following her construction by Halmatic Ltd in Portsmouth, Hampshire. Initially starting life as MV Grey Fox and operating in the waters around Northern Ireland, she commenced her duties within the British Gibraltar Territorial Waters in 2003.

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