Two of the Royal Navy’s largest warships have set sail from Plymouth to lead the Royal Navy’s Cougar 15 Deployment.
HMS Ocean deployed with Royal Marines from 45 Commando and Merlin, Apache and Chinook helicopters from the Fleet Air Arm, Army Air Corps and RAF, where the Navy’s helicopter carrier will join a task group of 70 warships from across NATO and host the task force commander Rear Admiral Tony Radakin.
Joining her will be HMS Bulwark who sails with armoured amphibious Vikings and support vehicles on board and will embark 100 extra Royal Marines and an additional staff of over 100 specialist personnel required to command the task group and its activities.
Cougar is the annual deployment of the UK’s high readiness maritime joint expeditionary force aimed at demonstrating the Royal Navy’s ability to keep Britain safe and improve her economic security by being able to deploy a highly effective maritime force anywhere in the world.
The deployment comprises a series of exercises designed to ensure that NATO allies are ready to deal with any emerging crisis, from any direction, and that they are able to work effectively with partners in tackling any crisis. The exercises will reach a climax with Trident Juncture.
Image: Royal Navy