HMS Albion delivered items including life jackets, VHF radios and hand held flares.

More than 1,000 sailors and Royal Marines are sailing to the Mediterranean and the Black Sea aboard amphibious assault ship HMS Albion, destroyer HMS Dragon and amphibious support ship RFA Lyme Bay.

UPDATE: HMS Dragon is currently visiting the Black Sea prior to returning to the task group.

The Royal Navy say that while deployed the ships will test the new and experimental Littoral Response Group concept (which replaces the UK’s long-standing Amphibious Task Group) and shape the Future Commando Force and evolution of the Royal Marines into a hi-tech raiding and strike force.

Commodore Rob Pedre, the Commander Littoral Strike Group, was quoted as saying:

“This deployment will provide high-readiness, forward-deployed options, provide strategic reassurance to our allies and partners, deter malevolent actors, strengthen NATO, and conduct wide-ranging defence experimentation. We will test cutting-edge technology and innovative concepts such as the Future Commando Force and the Littoral Strike Force concept to ensure our war-fighting edge in an era of constant competition.”

According to a Royal Navy news release:

“The task group will also support NATO’s Mediterranean security operation Sea Guardian and conduct exercises in Cyprus – Olympus Warrior and Autonomous Advance Force 3, a test of cutting-edge kit and how it can be exploited by commandos to deal with the very latest of threats. And activity in the Black Sea will include a series of training exercises and port visits to demonstrate the UK’s support for regional security and freedom of movement in Black Sea waters.”

The Royal Navy also add that the Future Commando Force will be represented by elements from the specialist raiding units of 47 Commando, Marines of 42 and 40 Commando based in Plymouth and Taunton, and the intelligence experts of 30 Commando Information Exploitation Group (Plymouth), and Wildcat helicopters from the Commando Helicopter Force at RNAS Yeovilton.

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Daniele Mandelli

What is this new technology the RM are testing?

Boats? Landing craft? Helicopters? You’d hope so, but I doubt it.

maC

Life jackets, flares and vhf radios lol

Steve

I suspect they are testing how to assault something without any boats/landing craft/helicopters.

Ian

Steve…..HMS Pedalo……..crabon neutral……no smoking missiles

Deep32

Hard to disagree with any of this. Haven’t heard of any new raiding/landing kit being purchased recently. Would have thought the Royals are swept up on how to conduct amphib type landings with their current kit!

Daniele Mandelli

I suspect the new tech they keep mentioning are small section level UAV’s we’ve seen in some of the promo vids, and the public swallow it. Which while all well and good is twaddle if there is a threat to the CS & CSS elements the brigade has, and the ships that carry you being retired, with no replacements save using the Bays. The Bays are also vulnerable like the LPD’s, and carry a fraction of their Landing Craft. What I want to see is new fast Landing Craft, more CHF Merlin, more FIC and riverine type boats as used… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

See this from Forces TV on FCF.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvweys1dhI8

Smaller sections, new comm’s tech, new personal weapon and uniforms as was reported here on UKDJ months ago. Nothing on firepower or how they actually deploy from ship to shore.

Deep32

Hi DM, again can’t disagree with your thoughts, bit of an expensive way of testing UAVs though. Currently at work feeding the nation, so apologise for short response.will try to put more flesh on response when time allows.

Daniele Mandelli

Sure, the UAV’s are just a guess on my part, and quite possibly a load of cobblers. There will be other stuff tested too, seemingly this new way of operating as outlined in the video. I just hope to hear of something progressive rather than a Corps cut to pieces but now operating in a new way.

Deep32

Just wondered if this is currently all about testing concept of operations as opposed to newer technologies? Agree that we can’t afford to loose the LPDs in SDR, if there is real intent to move forward with this LS concept, then to my mind it requires funding, or else what’s the point. New LPH and replacements for LPDs. Would like to see them with Caiman 90 type LC and some CB90 type craft, both can move at 40ish knts. uK plc is whoefully short of rotary lift capacity, possibly weo heavy lift Chinook fleet. RN probably need upwards of another… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

I agree with all of that. I suspect you’re right with the ops concepts.

Ian

The Commodore said forward deployed options………does any one know what and where……..and have we really got enough helicopters?

Daniele Mandelli

have we really got enough helicopters?”

No.

BB85

Interesting. I assume these are handed over to local aid agencies who then hand them over to the illegal people smugglers so they will at least have life jackets for their passangers in their $10,000 dingy adventure. There was me thinking the people smugglers actually cared enough about their guests to supply them, themselves. I wonder how many of the 1,000 distributed they collect back again when they collect boats stranded in the med.

Steve

You would prefer that the people die during the crossing?

There isn’t really a perfect solution to this problem, beyond trying to stabilize the mess that had been caused across the middle east / Africa, but that would need a massive multinational effort and countries putting the interests of non-nationals above their own, which would never happen. Long term it would create new markets to sell into, but politics isn’t about long term.

BB85

I didn’t say that. I only expressed my surprise that we supply illegal people traffickers with equipment including radios to aid them across the Mediterranean.
How is it every going to stop or even slow down when they are effectively subsidised by western governments.
There is no solution to this problem at all, instability is a drop in the ocean compared to the underlying issues of complete government corruption, religious and ethnic intolerance, no economic mobility or opportunities. If I was born in poverty there I would be looking for any route into Europe I could get as well.

Jonathan

Reading this they provided them to the Tunisian version of the coast guard, I suspect they end up expending a lot of emergency supplies, rescuing people and it must be a bit of burden for a third world nation,

Jonathan

You have to think there is just a wee bit of a message here to the Russians. The RN generating a littoral strike group and having it sail through the med and Black Sea, doing its stuff delivering support to allies etc while at the same time up in the North Sea we have a RN ( with a couple of friends) generated carrier battle group on exercise in the North-sea. If these two deployments happening at the same time are not serving a couple of wider aims beyond each deployments stated aims I would eat my hat. Such as… Read more »