Amphibious assault ship HMS Bulwark welcomed His Highness Mohammed Bin Salim Al Said, Head of Protocol Department for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to the official reception and capability demonstration held during her recent visit to Muscat, Oman.
The event was to demonstrate the capabilities of HMS Bulwark, part of the Response Force Task Group, to the distinguished guests and influential members of the local community.
Over 200 guests attended the evening reception, including Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Oman, Jamie Bowden, and the Commanding Officers from French Naval Ship Aconit and the USS Bulkeley.
The guests were given a tour of the ship, where the ship’s company simulated how they would respond to an incoming missile attack, and how these actions would be controlled from the Combined Operations Room and the bridge.
The Crown Prince met with some of HMS Bulwark’s sailors and Royal Marines while they demonstrated the maritime, air and land component capabilities that make HMS Bulwark so versatile and flexible.
HMS Bulwark’s Commanding Officer, Captain Andrew Burns Royal Navy, said:
“As we prepare to take part in exercises with the Armed Forces of Oman, my ship’s company has been given the opportunity to host some very important guests and they have done so with characteristic style.”
The evening concluded in the picturesque setting of Muscat Harbour, with a Ceremonial Sunset Ceremony; the lowering of the Royal Navy’s White Ensign flag.
HMS Bulwark, deployed on Cougar 13, is now on Exercise Omani Cougar – a joint maritime and amphibious exercise with the Armed Forces of Oman.
The RFTG is the United Kingdom’s high readiness maritime force, comprising ships, submarines, survey vessels, aircraft and a landing force of Royal Marines, which stand at short notice to act in response to any contingency tasking if required.
The Cougar 13 deployment, which left in August, operates in the Mediterranean, Red Sea, the Gulf, and Horn of Africa.
It involves exercising with partner nations, and will show the UK Armed Forces’ capacity to project an effective maritime component anywhere in the world. It is commanded by Commodore Paddy McAlpine on board HMS Bulwark.
Press Release, October 29, 2013; Image: Royal Navy