HMS Ocean returns from final deployment as commissioned Royal Navy ship

Royal Navy helicopter carrier HMS Ocean returned home to naval base Devonport on December 19, concluding her final deployment as a commissioned Royal Navy ship.

The ship was scheduled to enter Devonport on December 20, welcomed by families and friends, but a forecast of thick fog brought her final operational homecoming forward by a day.

Ocean, which will be decommissioned next year, left Plymouth at the end of August to serve as flagship of NATO’s Standing Maritime Group 2 in the Mediterranean.

The ship was re-tasked and diverted from her NATO duties at the beginning of September to take vital humanitarian aid to British Overseas Territories hit by hurricane Irma before returning to resume her role as the NATO group flagship and take part in multi-national exercises.

On board during her deployment were Royal Marines from Taunton-based 40 Commando, helicopters from 820, 845 and 847 Naval Air Squadrons based in Culdrose and Yeovilton, and RAF Chinook helicopters.

The crew of HMS Ocean are now on leave to celebrate Christmas.

Related: HMS Ocean offered for sale to Brazilian Navy

Turkey emerges as potential buyer of UK helicopter carrier HMS Ocean

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