A Royal Navy amphibious response force has sailed for the Mediterranean on a European security mission alongside NATO allies and partners.
More than a thousand sailors and Royal Marines have been deployed as part of Littoral Response Group North.
The response force is led by amphibious flagship HMS Albion and is made up of three helicopter squadrons, Royal Marines of 45 Commando, support ships RFA Argus and RFA Mounts Bay, tanker RFA Tidesurge, plus Type 45 destroyer HMS Defender – the group’s powerful escort warship.
In the coming months, the task group will operate with partners in the Eastern Mediterranean, North Africa and the Adriatic.
The operations build on the response group’s work in the Arctic earlier this year and in the Baltic in 2021.
The deployment will also see an element of experimentation, developing tactics and equipment as Royal Marines Commandos continue to look at new ways of operating to counter the threats of a modern era.
The response force has already visited Rota in Spain after carrying out replenishments with RFA Tidesurge off the coast of Portugal before heading into Gibraltar.
This came after amphibious warfare exercises near Plymouth, putting the final touches to preparations for the deployment. It saw 45 Commando launched ashore from landing craft from HMS Albion’s 4 Assault Squadron Royal Marines and manoeuvre in land.