Royal Navy’s HMS Bulwark returns from five week training in UK waters
Royal Navy’s Albion-class assault ship HMS Bulwark has returned to Plymouth, England after five weeks of exercises and training across the UK.
Leaving Plymouth in early April, the ship took part in Exercise Griffin Strike with other UK and French units including HMS Ocean for advanced naval warfare training off Plymouth and then complex and demanding amphibious operations supporting Plymouth-based 42 Commando Royal Marines as they established a beachhead near Tenby in South Wales and moved to their inland objective.
Captain James Parkin, the Captain of HMS BULWARK said: “The ship has had a fantastic programme for the last five weeks, combining the best of operational training during Exercise Griffin Strike, the largest Anglo French exercise of recent times with some excellent port visits and training activities.
“From the English Channel to the Western Isles, from the coast of Pembrokeshire to the beaches of Northern Ireland and from the Isle of Man to Merseyside, it has been a hugely testing and varied time.”
After Griffin Strike, next port was off Oban, West Scotland where divers carried out a routine underwater survey. A berth in the middle of Glasgow followed, as the crew hosted many visits from local groups, played sport and had a little time to relax in the city.
Next was landing craft drills for soldiers of the Army 2nd Battalion The Rifles on the beaches of Northern Ireland before the ship paid a visit to the Isle of Man, playing host to members of the Manx Government.
Subsequently alongside in Liverpool in the shadow of the iconic Liver Building, the ship hosted a wide variety of visits from local cadet and Royal Naval Reserve groups with rugby and football fixtures against local sides, and worked with the ship’s affiliated regiment, the 1st Battalion the Royal Irish Regiment.
In two weeks, HMS Bulwark continues a program of operations and training in North West European waters.
The ship will also take part in the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Jutland, in the Orkney Islands at the end of May.
After a brief maintenance period, HMS Bulwark will then lead the Royal Navy’s Joint Expeditionary Force deployment later in the year.