British flagship HMS Albion and amphibious vessel RFA Lyme Bay joined up with the ITS Giuseppe Garibaldi and her escorts in the central Mediterranean.
According to the Royal Navy, Albion and Lyme Bay have formed the core of the UK’s Littoral Response Group which has spent the autumn conducting trials and exercises to help shape the amphibious forces and Royal Marines of the future.
“After participation in NATO’s Mediterranean maritime security mission, Operation Sea Guardian, the British ships began the long journey home to the UK – which brought them into contact with the Italian Navy for some combined training. The Garibaldi is home to AV-8B jump jets (the US-built version of the Harrier) which tested their ability to evade the British defences during an air defence exercise.
The carrier group – completed by frigate ITS Carlo Bergamini and tanker Stromboli – conducted combined training with Albion and Lyme Bay, from basic communications through to manoeuvring in close proximity, some helicopter ‘cross-decking’ and an anti-submarine exercise, before a ceremonial sail past prior as the two allies went their separate ways.”
The British vessels are due home later this week.
“They even gave us a package containing a crate of Peroni and freshly-cooked pizzas,” said delighted pilot Captain Tom Arkell RM in a news release.