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New boss in Bahrain as Commodore Adrian Fryer takes reins of RN’s Middle East mission

17 January 2022
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There’s a new face at the helm of Royal Navy operations east of Suez with Commodore Adrian Fryer assuming command.

He’s taken over from Commodore Ed Ahlgren, who’s directed Operation Kipion for the past 12 months as the UK Maritime Component Commander.

The role – which dates back to the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 – oversees a headquarters staff directing the Royal Navy’s efforts from the Suez Canal to the western seaboard of India.

They are responsible for the actions of more than 500 sailors and Royal Marines on a daily basis, from the crew of frigate HMS Montrose to the four Royal Navy minehunters based in Bahrain, plus their mother ship RFA Lyme Bay.

During Cdre Ahlgreen’s time in post HMS Montrose, which has now spent over 1,000 days in the region, has scored successful drugs busts and safely escorted merchant ships through key maritime chokepoints.

And the minehunters are celebrating 15 years’ continuous presence in the Middle East, working alongside partner nations to keep vital shipping lanes open.

“It’s been my immense privilege to lead the UK’s Maritime Component Command for the last year,” said Commodore Ahlgren.

I look forward to a successful year working with our partners and allies to maintain maritime security in the region.

Commodore Adrian Fryer

“In spite of the tough restrictions of Covid, our achievements have been many, and I would like to thank all serving in the UK’s Naval Support Facility and the ships’ companies for their hard work and support to Operation Kipion.”

He was applauded out of the UK Naval Support Facility in Bahrain by personnel – who include soldiers and RAF in support of both the RN and wider Defence’s mission in the region – who lined the main road through the base.

Cdre Fryer is no stranger to Bahrain, having previously served in the Middle East as Commander of Coalition Task Force Sentinel, the operational arm of the International Maritime Security Construct, which protects shipping in some of the region’s most dangerous and threatened waters.

“Having served in Bahrain before, it is an honour to return as the UK’s Maritime Component Commander,” Cdre Fryer said.

“I look forward to a successful year working with our partners and allies to maintain maritime security in the region.”

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