The UK Navy’s Type 23 frigate HMS Kent will set sail from Portsmouth Naval Base to strengthen the UK’s presence in the Middle East.

The ship, which is capable of deploying away from home for six months, will carry 174 sailors, all of which have been involved in preparing the ship for the mission.

The primary mission in the Northern Arabian Gulf will be to support the Iraqis maintaining security around oil terminals, offshore energy infrastructure and to maintain territorial integrity and provide training for the Iraqi Navy.

HMS Kent commanding officer Simon Hopper said that their role in Op Telic is crucial to supporting the recovery of the Iraqi economy and promoting greater peace and stability in the region.