UK: Short Encounter for HMS Albion, HMS Ocean
The Royal Navy’s Flagship, HMS Albion, and its largest ship, HMS Ocean, are reunited off the coast of Libya for a transfer of stores, ammunition and personnel.
The two Devonport based amphibious ships are both part of the Royal Navy’s Response Force Task Group, but for the past six weeks HMS Albion has been deployed East of Suez, whilst HMS Ocean has been contributing to NATO operations to protect civilians in Libya.
The short rendezvous also allowed Commodore John Kingwell, Commander UK Task Group, to receive briefings from his staff about the Albion Group’s work in the Middle East. This included exercises with Saudi Arabia, Oman and the United Arab Emirates and also involved the frigate HMS Sutherland, replenishment ship RFA Fort Victoria and landing ship RFA Cardigan Bay.
Commodore John Kingwell, Commander UK Task Group said:
“The fact that the Royal Navy’s Response Force Task Group has been conducting concurrent operations in both the Mediterranean and the Middle East, underlines the versatility not just of the ships involved, but also the hard work of my staff who plan, direct and support both elements of the Task Group simultaneously”.
“The work that the Response Force Task Group has undertaken East of Suez has enhanced the UK’s influence in a region that includes some of the world’s busiest and most important shipping lanes.”
“HMS Ocean continues to support NATO’s mission to protect civilians in Libya through the provision of maritime strike. As a purpose built helicopter carrier, she is the ideal platform from which to operate Apache helicopters”.
At the end of the link up, HMS Albion continued with her pre-planned programme which will see her return to Devonport in early August. However, as a key component of the UK’s maritime quick reaction force, HMS Albion remains at high readiness to respond to unforeseen events.
Having taken on additional ammunition from Albion, HMS Ocean now returns to her duties off Libya, where she is acting as a floating airfield for the deployment of Apache attack helicopters and Sea King surveillance helicopters.
Other Royal Navy ships operating in the vicinity of Libya include the mine hunter HMS Bangor and the frigate HMS Sutherland.
Source: royalnavy, August 4, 2011;