UK’s HMS Albion joins Sweden’s largest military drills

A Royal Navy task group, including amphibious transport dock HMS Albion, is heading to the Baltic for the largest Swedish military drills in more than 25 years.

Royal Navy

As part of that continued close cooperation – which also includes an agreement on deliveries of Archer self-propelled guns to Britain – HMS Albion is part of a task group of ships and commandos into the Baltic for an exercise designed to test Sweden’s ability to counter an armed attack on the country.

Some 26,000 troops and 14 nations are lined-up for the training across the Nordic nation and the Royal Navy will be at heart of it, carrying out amphibious exercises, led by amphibious flagship Albion and commandos, including Royal Marines from 45 Commando, as part of the high-readiness Littoral Response Group (LRG).

The training is the largest Swedish national exercise of its kind in more than 25 years.

“Albion and the Littoral Response Group’s last period of operations took us north to Arctic Norway, where we participated in a significant Joint Expeditionary Force exercise,” said Captain Marcus Hember, Commanding Officer of HMS Albion.

“Our next period of operations is going to take us to the Baltic, where again we’ll be exercising with allies and partners and demonstrating the UK and the Royal Navy’s commitment to Northern European security.”

The task group heads to the Baltic fresh from exercises in the Arctic Circle, where Norway hosted similar training to test their ability to protect their nation from attack. 

RFA Mounts Bay and Albion operated closely with Dutch forces, led by HNLMS Rotterdam, carrying out amphibious landings on the complex landscape of Norwegian fjords.

The RAF and British Army are also involved in the drills, as Sweden changes its focus from international operations to national defence.

The backdrop to the exercises is Finland’s accession to NATO earlier this month.