THE ROYAL Navy has a prime role in this year’s Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, which runs until August 27.
And one of the major attractions will be a Royal Navy counter-piracy boarding team from HMS Montrose.
The HMS Montrose team, which earned its stripes on patrol with notable successes against Somali pirates, will give a dynamic display, re-enacting operational action on the Edinburgh Castle arena transformed into a kidnapped cargo ship.
Commander Jonathan Lett, CO of HMS Montrose said: “Although the base-port of HMS Montrose is in Plymouth, the ship has incredibly close links with Scotland. A Duke Class Type 23 Frigate, HMS Montrose is named after the Duke of Montrose.
“The Tattoo provides an excellent medium to strengthen those links. The Lord Lieutenant of Angus, the Duke of Montrose and ship’s sponsor Lady Rifkind have been invited to attend the Tattoo.
“They will be joined by thousands of spectators from around the world. This year’s theme ‘Of the Sea’ provides a fantastic opportunity to highlight the broad range of work the Royal Navy undertakes on a daily basis.
“Having returned from operations in the Indian Ocean at the very end of last year a team of 16 sailors from HMS Montrose will be re-creating a counter-piracy boarding on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle.
“Working in conjunction with the Tattoo producers, the team will use a combination of sound, light and live action to show how teams from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines deal with incidents of piracy off the coast of Somalia. Based on a real boarding which HMS Montrose undertook whilst on patrol in the Indian Ocean last year the Tattoo provides a fantastic opportunity not only to highlight the work of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines in deterring and disrupting acts of piracy but also the high quality training and versatility of our men and women.”
HMS Montrose deterred many potential pirate acts in the Gulf of Aden last year, including a major success when its boarding party and helicopter combined to scare off pirates who boarded a German merchant ship Beluga Fortune. The merchant ship crew locked themselves in and before the pirates could take further action the Royal Navy arrived. The German government sent a message of gratitude for the Royal Navy’s actions.
Petty Officer Adam Cowling, boarding team second-in-command was involved in the Beluga Fortune operation. He said: “We are honoured to be playing such an important role in the Edinburgh Tattoo. We promise audiences an action-packed demonstration of what we have done for real on counter-piracy patrol in the Gulf of Aden last year.”