The Littoral Response Group (North) task group is heading to the Baltic Sea.

The task force is made up of amphibious assault ship HMS Albion and landing dock RFA Mounts Bay, plus Type 23 frigate HMS Lancaster, Wildcat helicopters from 847 Naval Air Squadron, and Royal Marines from 45 and 30 Commando.

“The Littoral Response Group (North) (LRG(N)), comprised of the Amphibious Flag Ship HMS ALBION (ALBN), RFA MOUNTS BAY (MNTS), HMS NORTHUMBERLAND (NORT), an aviation detachment and Commando Force elements will provide forward presence in the North Atlantic and Baltic Sea region this spring.

LRG(N) will undertake focused training and operations with NATO allies and regional partners and provide a contingent capability in a vital region for European security. The deployment will also undertake a range of experimentation and innovation trials that support the development of Littoral Strike and Commando Forces and the Royal Navy’s Transformation strategy.”

According to the Royal Navy, more than 1,000 sailors and Royal Marines are heading on the three-month mission to the North Atlantic and Baltic at the beginning of a new era of commando operations.

Captain Simon Kelly Royal Navy, task group commander and Commanding Officer of HMS Albion, was quoted as saying:

“The Littoral Response Group will be training alongside our NATO allies and regional partners on our deployment into the North Atlantic and Baltic Sea region this spring. With two major exercises, including the 50th anniversary of NATO’s Baltops, it is shaping up to be a busy deployment. We are excited to be part of the development and delivery of the vanguard Littoral Response Group, as announced in the recent Integrated Review, which will project a more sophisticated, persistently engaged, and lethal commando force.”  

According to a Royal Navy press release:

“This is the first deployment of the Littoral Response Group (North) task group, which is the first of two forces – centred around Royal Marines and amphibious ships – that will regularly carry out operations in areas of interest to the UK, providing reassurance to allies and deter potential adversaries. Littoral Response Group (North) deploys at the same time as the UK Carrier Strike Group, as they prepare to work alongside NATO allies and regional partners in the Mediterranean, the Middle East and Indo-Pacific regions. 

Under plans announced in the recent defence review, there will eventually be two Littoral Response Groups regularly deployed in regions of strategic importance to the UK, one with a focus on European waters and the other looking to the east and south of the Suez Canal. They are designed to put the UK’s commando forces in forward positions, where they will be able to react quickly to any crises but also continually work with allies.”

You can read more here.

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Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago

So, the LRG is born.

Would be nice to see MoD provide more details on FCF beyond what was leaked on twitter the other month.

Liam Phillips
Liam Phillips
1 month ago

What leaks were these? I agree details on FCF do seem to have gone a bit thin following an initial press dump with the new crye uniform. I do wonder how much the new ‘Ranger Regiment’ has intruded on their plans

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam Phillips

There was a tweet a month or so back shared by a few defence commentators, some who suggested it was not yet for release. Several slides worth of LSS North and LSS East details with photos of capabilities but still pretty basic in the when’s what’s and how manys. Will try to find.

Rob
Rob
1 month ago

Without serious Helo transport capacity any ‘littoral response’ will be by landing craft which means the landing platforms have to get really close in putting the ‘eggs in one basket’ ships at greater risk. If / when we get the new LSS they must be able to house and operate helicopters up to and including Chinook.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

The LRG is focused on small group raiding etc . I would not be surprised to see 539 with their ORCs are in Albion for such a trial.
You can use LCUs as floating fuel points to refuel the ORCs and to act as mother ships. This greatly extends the raiders range and opens up a far larger area of coastline to be raided.

Pacman27
Pacman27
1 month ago

would be good to see the warthogs taken out of storage and used for the northern group.

Rogbob
Rogbob
1 month ago
Reply to  Pacman27

They aren’t amphibious. So not much use, hence for sale.

Pacman27
Pacman27
1 month ago
Reply to  Rogbob

yes they are, unless we bought a special version that isn’t for some bizarre reason

Warren
Warren
1 month ago
Reply to  Pacman27

I could be wrong but, the uk version isn’t amphibious due to the uparming for afghan.

Jonny
Jonny
1 month ago
Reply to  Warren

That’s right

Ulya
Ulya
1 month ago

Can these ships carry a boat like the CB90? seems like they would be useful to the RM

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  Ulya

ORCs from 539 …ideal for raiding teams

Ulya
Ulya
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Sorry Gunbuster, what are ORC? I tried doing web search but couldn’t find anything useful or that I understood

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  Ulya

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Offshore_Raiding_Craft We had them on Bulwark for Taurus 09 on a Far East deployment. They were kept on the stbd side in one lane of vehicle deck . They launched into the well dock when it was flooded and deployed out as normal boats. They did raiding and riverenne work with LCU motherships amongst other things. The TV documentary from that time shows them in use on the rivers in Brunei. I am in a few of the episodes but I will leave it to you to see if you can work out if its me… and I am still… Read more »

Ulya
Ulya
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Thank you very much for the interesting reply and link. I want to search for that documentary when time allows. I read a little bit about the trouble with French fishing boats recently but our media gives different interpretations depending what one I read/watch so don’t really understand to much.

Lisa West (Comment Moderator)
Lisa West (Comment Moderator)
1 month ago
Reply to  Ulya

Hi, please keep in mind our comment moderation policy with regards to being respectful towards others. I have edited your comment to remove the problem but this comment should serve as a warning with regards to future posts.

James Fennell
James Fennell
1 month ago
Reply to  Ulya

Holyhead Marine 9m Offshore Raiding Craft https://www.holyheadmarine.co.uk/new_builds/9m-orc-mcv/

Grant
Grant
1 month ago

LRG and CSG both deployed at once, with PoW working up at the same time…. its impressive…..

captain p wash
captain p wash
1 month ago
Reply to  Grant

Well with all our Ships out and about, 😄Thank God for the Warmington On Sea Lads eh ?

Grant
Grant
1 month ago
Reply to  captain p wash

Ha not true we can still find the ‘gunboats’ to Jersey!!

maurice10
maurice10
1 month ago

From an outsider, the current display of British military hardware could be perceived as a little heavy-handed? I for one, believe a more demonstrative show of strength is just what is needed at the moment. With increased shadowing and threats from a host of nations, a little saber-rattling is always welcome especially to those countries that are close neighbours to the threats? Currently, we have a troubled World and the pandemic could just be a way of bully nations taking advantage of the situation? Maybe, more NATO members need to step up in a similar fashion to the UK, and… Read more »

Stephen Ball
Stephen Ball
1 month ago
Reply to  maurice10

That’s called training, You train yourself find your own fault’s, Then work with other’s find the fault’s and iron them out.

Cripes
Cripes
1 month ago

It will be interesting to see how this 1,000 troops breaks down. The littoral strike concept seems to be a reduced-size Commando, down from 700+ troops to under 500, carrying out a brief raid on an enemy shore by helicopter rather than landing ship. Would certainly need some air defence cover, probably Starstreak, and some extra ATGW, but doubt it will include the 105mm light gun or much in the way of recce vehicles. 1,000 troops sounds a lot for a raiding party. One limitation will inevitably be the helicopter lift. The RM have 12 front-line Merlin HC4s, so 6… Read more »

Sipowitz
Sipowitz
1 month ago
Reply to  Cripes

Sorry, I think you need to re-read the article. The 1000 total includes ships crews etc. Not just RM. Off the top of my head i would estimate maybe 400 RM embarked? I’m sure someone else can provide a better estimate.

JohnG
JohnG
1 month ago
Reply to  Sipowitz

Yes if I was guessing would say around 400. 2 groups of about 100 go ashore with 2 as support. Not sure altogether how much impact 200 can have, but I appreciate we are one of the few who retain this capacity and hopefully we will regrow it in the future. In the support of special ops I can see this number having larger impact. As others have mentioned, I wish there was a way of getting our hands on two HMS ocean type ships. I appreciate the establishment of 2 LSGs is a great start, and hopefully it will… Read more »

Sipowitz
Sipowitz
1 month ago
Reply to  JohnG

I think your figures for the LPD and LSD(A) troop capacities are the overload capacities i.e only possible in extremis/for a short time (I have no experience of the LPDs but for the Bays this would require hot bunking for the troops and/or sleeping in public rooms, alleyways, the vehicle deck etc., I imagine its no different on the LPDs)

From memory the “passenger” capacity (non overload) for the Bays is around 250 and I believe about the same for the LPDs.

JohnG
JohnG
1 month ago
Reply to  Sipowitz

Cheers for the feedback, got the info from Wikipedia, I appreciate that it may not be wholly accurate but it does differentiate overload and normal troop numbers, which fit with what I posted above.

Trevor
Trevor
1 month ago

Not trying to be funny, but two major RN units, each with minimal self defence capability, operating in a contested littoral environment with one T23 for escort? how long would that last against the “potential adversary”?

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Trevor

I totally agree! There is only one enemy in that region and that is Russia 😃 I don’t think that keeps the Russian sleepless . The UK needs drone carriers ( as helicopters are obsolete on attacking enemies ) along with destroyers and frigates with Real fire power armed with tomahawks to take out any airfield or bases of the enemy. It needs air defence system to maintain and protect any territory gained. It’s the only way for an amphibious force in modern times to be credible against a mid level power

Last edited 1 month ago by James
Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  James

Typhoon with Storm Shadow will be used against shore targets.

The UK is moving away from a traditional amphib force . They are moving back to raiding so there is no intention of holding anything. You go in, cause max aggravation over the maximum area forcing the adversary to redirect their resources over a wide area.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
1 month ago
Reply to  Trevor

You appear to be overlooking Allies? For example,

In 2020, BALTOPS included 19 nations, including 28 ships and submarines, 28 aircraft.

In 2019, BALTOPS included 18 nations, including 52 ships and submarines, 36 aircraft.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
1 month ago

Exactly. Many still think it’s the UK v the world! 😄

Sipowitz
Sipowitz
1 month ago
Reply to  Trevor

I suppose thats just the point though, Russia remains a “potential adversary”. If we were at war with Russia I would think the chance of us sending any ships into the Baltic would be negligible for the obvious reasons you have pointed out.

These ships are involved in exercises, a stronger escort simply isn’t required.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  Trevor

Its a training exercise…
there will be a number of allied units in attendance.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
1 month ago
Reply to  Trevor

I don’t see Russia sending any amphibious task groups our way with equal capability, or numbers.

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago
Reply to  Trevor

We simply have too few escorts & if war broke out even our tiny escort fleet could be cut down quickly. We have no reserves of warships, & our ability to build replacements would be very slow & limited.

Max Jones
Max Jones
1 month ago
Reply to  Trevor

I don’t think this sort of operation is intended for large scale amphibious assaults/invasions or anything to that effect. It’s described as a raiding force primarily so I expect this means either light opposition or in an environment where naval/air superiority is already achieved to some degree, or at least other assets are on hand in the vicinity to support.

Heidfirst
Heidfirst
1 month ago

Albion was playing with USMC LCACs, USMC choppers/V22s & RM off Barry Buddon yesterday.

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago

Ah, so that’s why Lancaster disappeared from the Warrior, Portsmouth, webcam Saturday. There goes the eye-candy of her plus QE & POW departing too the last week or so. Hopefully the deployment will deter any move on the Baltic states by Putin.

Jolly Rogering
Jolly Rogering
1 month ago

We are not at war. We are not preparing for war. We do not want war etc etc etc. These are training excercises designed to see how we can deploy suitable forces at our disposal (tailored for role / requirement etc) into a potential conflict zone. Nothing more and nothing less. All the sofa experts are right, if We took on Russia / China on our own we would be well beaten very quickly as would all other nations on earth bar the US. This is what the whole point in a multi national (NATO) force seeks to prevent from… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  Jolly Rogering

Russia isnt a near peer adversary in the naval theater. Its current priority is to ensure the Kara/White sea bastions remain secure for its Bombers to operate in.
In a conflict It would cease to exist in pretty short order as a fighting force if it came into the N Atlantic, even with just the RN against it.