A Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship has been at the heart of a major exercise to safeguard oil platforms and harbours in the Gulf.

RFA Fort Austin was used as a stand in oil platform during a recent International Maritime Infrastructure Protection Exercise which tested the skills of navies and coastguards from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, as well as the US, France and the UK.

Using RFA Fort Austin as an oil platform, the remainder of the ships split into two groups, with one responsible for 360 degree protection of the ‘critical infrastructure’ from simulated aggressive attacks by the other group of ships.

The protection operations provided a chance to coordinate tactics between the various nations and test communications protocols.