Royal Navy Fleet flagship HMS Ocean has arrived in Toulon, France, for final preparations ahead of Exercise Corsican Lion.
The exercise, part of the Royal Navy’s Cougar 15 deployment, provides an ideal opportunity to showcase the ship’s role as an amphibious assault ship.
HMS Ocean carries the UK’s high readiness Lead Commando Group, from 45 Commando Royal Marines, their vehicles and artillery, supported by helicopters from the Royal Navy, Army Air Corps and Royal Air Force.
The Merlin, Wildcat, Apache and Chinook helicopters embarked in the ship will work with the ship’s landing craft, and amphibious shipping from the French Navy, to demonstrate the flexibility and reach that amphibious forces can deliver from the sea.
Rear Admiral Tony Radakin, Commander UK Maritime Forces, is also embarked in HMS Ocean together with his headquarters staff, in preparation for his future role as Commander of the NATO Response Force (Maritime) in 2016.
Image: Royal Navy