The Royal UK Navy’s Fleet Flagship HMS Bulwark has paid a brief port visit to Gibraltar as she loaded stores and extra personnel for the annual exercise Cougar 14.
The Devonport-based Landing Platform (Helicopter) is one of two Royal Navy warships taking part along the Lead Commando Group from 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines (40 Commando) and elements of Naval Air Squadrons, plus two ships from the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.
She arrived in port along with RFA Wave Knight and RFA Lyme Bay where Commander UK Task Group Commodore Jerry Kyd spoke with local dignitaries and journalists.
He said: “Cougar 14 is the Navy’s routine annual deployment of a maritime Task Group away from home waters.
“It demonstrates powerfully the enduring utility, employability and interoperability of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines at range from the UK.
“The Task Group will exercise and operate with many other countries and their Navies, reinforcing the international community’s commitment to security and stability throughout the Mediterranean and Gulf regions.”
HMS Bulwark departed Gibraltar on Thursday and has now met up with HMS Ocean as they head to the Mediterranean for the first set of exercises in Albania – Albanian Lion.
The ships form part of the UK’s Response Force Task Group (RFTG) which regularly practices its world class maritime skills, and is designed to be deployed in emergency situations, thousands of miles from home.
While deployed in the Mediterranean and Gulf HMS Bulwark will also be joined by a range of other Royal Navy and RFA ships, as well as those from partner nations.