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.”