The men and women who deploy here do a superb job in often very difficult circumstances and it has been a pleasure and honour to play my part.

Commodore Simon Ancona

Regarding his Royal Navy responsibilities in the 2.5 million square mile Joint Operating Area, which encompasses the majority of the Middle East, Cdre Ancona said,

“There is no doubting the importance and relevance of the work being done by the Royal Navy in the region."It is impossible to name another area of the globe that has such a direct effect on UK security and prosperity.

“The men and women who deploy here do a superb job in often very difficult circumstances and it has been a pleasure and honour to play my part.

With regard to his Combined Maritime Forces responsibilities, he added:

"The CMF is a remarkable organisation - perhaps the largest maritime cooperative that has ever existed - it continues to marshal forces from across its 29 nation membership to contribute to security and stability in a region of global importance. I have been privileged to have been a part of it."

The UK has had strong defence links with the Persian Gulf region for many years. Enhancing these links even further through military relationships is at the core of the UKMCC responsibilities.

The Gulf States are a source of economic and political influence and the UK, through the enduring RN presence continues its engagement with them to address a range of international issues.