The Royal Navy’s amphibious assault ship HMS Bulwark – star of Channel Five’s very popular ‘Warship’ series – is visiting Torquay as part of an ongoing Regional Engagement programme.
The massive, 20,000-tonne Landing Craft utility leviathan will anchor in Tor bay on Friday, July 22 for three days and her commanding officer, Captain Alex Burton, is inviting the people of Devon on board on Sunday, July 24 from 10am until 2pm.
The short tours of the ship will give the public a unique insight into the capability of this modern warship which is almost two football pitches in length. Members of the ship’s company will be on hand to explain their roles on board and can offer advice on the many career opportunities available in the Royal Navy.
Tickets for this exciting opportunity – which involves a boat transfer from the slipway at Haldon Pier – are limited to 500 and are available from today – Friday, July 8 – at the English Riviera Tourist Office in Vaughan Parade, Torquay.
NB: These boat transfer tickets are free but are issued on a first-come, first-served basis.
The ship is currently undergoing sea training after a period of refit and during her time at anchor, will host a reception and capability demonstration on the Friday evening for invited guests and local dignitaries.
There will also be a number of training stances for the ship’s crew during her stay in the area.
Captain Burton said:
“HMS Bulwark is the country’s very own Swiss Army Knife. Totally indispensable and phenomenally versatile, she packs a punch with our embarked group of Royal Marines and delivers proven, essential support to the softer humanitarian and disaster relief operations.”
“We are base-ported ‘round the corner’ in Plymouth so I am delighted we have the chance to visit and interact with the Torbay community”
“I really do hope as many people as possible take advantage of the offer of touring HMS Bulwark.”
The ship has just emerged from an 11-month upgrade and maintenance period by Babcock at its base port of HM Naval Base Devonport, Plymouth. This was the ship’s first docking period since being formally commissioned into the Royal Navy in April 2005.
The £30m refit, 450,000-man-hour refit involved the overhaul of 1,625 items of equipment, the manufacture of 1,557 items, and the shipping of 398 tonnes of equipment on and off the ship.
HMS Bulwark is 176 metres long and is one of the Royal Navy’s largest ships. She is designed as an amphibious troop carrier; her regular ship’s complement of some 320 crew can swell to more than 1000 with Royal Marines troops embarked to full capacity.
The ship represents 18,500 tonnes of nautical muscle, capable of transporting troops, equipment and aircraft to trouble spots anywhere in the world. She is a prime example of how the Royal Navy is currently benefiting from a £14billion investment package with the largest warship building programme in 20 years.
With organic landing craft and an embarked squadron of Royal Marines, HMS Bulwark is a highly versatile platform able to operate across the full spectrum of defence activities in support of joint expeditionary operations.
Capable of embarking, transporting, deploying, sustaining and recovering troops with their equipment and vehicles, she is also an at-sea command platform, fitted with the most modern combat support system.
Source: royalnavy, July 12, 2011