On Wednesday 16 October 2013, Royal Fleet Auxiliary Landing Ship, RFA Lyme Bay joined Operation Atalanta, as part of the EU’s counter piracy Naval Force off Somalia.
RFA Lyme Bay is an amphibious operations support unit, whose primary role is to land troops, vehicles, equipment and stores from the sea to the shore, using landing craft or helicopter.
RFA Lyme Bay has the capacity to accommodate up to 350 personnel and a number of ground vehicles. As a front-line unit, she has a full array of self defence weapons for surface and air threats.
This is the first time that RFA Lyme Bay has taken part in the Operation Atalanta, but not her first time in the region, as she was deployed in Bahrain in support of the Royal Navy Mine sweepers for 3 years.
Commenting on RFA Lyme Bay participation in Operation Atalanta, the Commanding Officer, Captain Simon Herbert RFA said:
“I very much welcome the opportunity to be part of the EU Naval Force’s efforts to deter and disrupt piracy off the Somali coast. As the attack last week on a super tanker 230 miles off the Somali coast highlighted, the threat very much remains and we are ready to contribute to EU Naval Force’s proven track record in improving maritime security off the coast of Somali and the Indian Ocean. RFA Lyme Bay provides the Force Headquarters at sea with a capable, versatile, integrated and fully trained ship. We stand ready to also assist with Local Maritime Capacity Building, or LMCB.”
RFA Lyme Bay will remain with EU Naval Force until mid-November. After that she will rejoin ‘Operation Cougar’ units.
Press Release, October 22, 2013; Image: EU NAVFOR