Royal Navy’s very high readiness helicopter carrier, HMS Ocean, will shortly assume the duties of Fleet Flagship.
The Plymouth based ship takes over from HMS Bulwark on the morning of Monday, June 1. The ship will sail next month for the first of a series of exercises that will demonstrate the flexibility of the warship for tasks ranging from the delivery of humanitarian aid to the full range of amphibious operations.
Ocean is also paving the way for HMS Queen Elizabeth which will assume the role of the Royal Navy’s Flagship when she enters service.
Separately HMS Ocean recently completed fitting new communications and IT systems which now allows the ship to host a staff, headed by a Rear Admiral, commanding UK and NATO Task Groups.
As well as the ship’s role as the Royal Navy’s Flagship, the headquarters staff in Ocean will be the Maritime Component Commander of the NATO Response Force (NRF) in 2016.
Hosting this key NATO role in the Fleet Flagship demonstrates the UK’s commitment to NATO and the Alliance’s regional partners.
In preparation for the NATO role, Ocean and the staff will take command of a series of major multinational exercises being run throughout the summer and autumn which will validate the ability to command Task Groups comprising over 50 warships.
Image: Royal Navy