The UK Navy’s HMS Bulwark exercised with the French warship, FS Courbet, after passing through the Suez Canal on passage to the Gulf.
A Task Group made up of RN and RFA vessels including HMS Northumberland, RFA Lyme Bay and RFA Wave Ruler, are on a planned annual deployment called Cougar 14. This has been operating in the Mediterranean, and will now spend time in the Gulf working with partner nations in the region.
The Cougar 14 Task Group has already joined up with the German frigate Schleswig Holstein, which will work as an integral part of the Task Group until it sails back through the Red Sea later this year. On board HMS Bulwark is COMUKTG – Commander UK Task Group Commodore Jerry Kyd and his HQ which commands the UK’s high readiness maritime force.
The Cougar Task Group held a series of manoeuvres with the French frigate FS Courbet, practising their maritime skills with all three nations working together, before parting company as the Task Group continued east.
Cdre Kyd said: “This exercise with the French frigate Courbet is one of many examples where the UK and France are enhancing our interoperability. As two similar sized and similarly focussed Navies, opportunities like this will help prepare us for future combined operations, as we face our common security challenges.”
Press Release, October 02, 2014; Image: UK Navy