As the Royal Navy’s HMS Albion awakens from her four-year slumber, her sailors raise a toast with veteran matelots.
The assault ship has been in extended readiness since 2011 in her home base of Devonport, being brought back to life so she can take over as the nation’s principal amphibious vessel from HMS Bulwark.
Albion already has around one seventh of her full complement of 350 sailors and Royal Marines and undergoing a massive refit in her native Devonport – everything from overhauling the engines and cleaning the hull, to installing system and weapon upgrades to keep pace with changes in naval technology during the ship’s slumber.
Bringing Albion back to life goes beyond the purely mechanical and the 50 crew are wakening bonds forged in the first decade of the ship’s active life in Cheshire. The sailors paid a visit to the Royal Naval Association, the city hall, and closed the visit to the North-West with a focus on youth when they dropped in on Upton High School to discuss their roles on board and across the Royal Navy.
Image: Royal Navy