Six days after leaving home waters, assault ship HMS Albion, destroyer HMS Dragon and landing ship RFA Lyme Bay have arrived in Gibraltar.
HMS Albion is leading the Littoral Response Group (Experimentation) (LRG(X)) which is using the three-month deployment to “develop new tactics and try out new technology to help forge the commandos of tomorrow”, as well as conducting more traditional exercises and operations.
Speaking about this part of the deployment, named Exercise Gibraltar Strike, the Royal Navy say in a news release:
“Covid restrictions are limiting many of the staple fixtures of a visit to the Rock largely to a re-fuel/re-supply stop. But there will be the opportunity for the Royal Marines to stretch their legs for the first time on this deployment.
Gibraltar Strike includes abseiling from helicopters and urban combat training making use of the facilities/ranges on the Rock as the Royal Marines continue their transition to the Future Commando Force.”
Commodore Rob Pedre, Commander of the UK’s Littoral Strike Group, was quoted as saying:
“Sailing into Gibraltar is a real highlight at the start of our deployment. We greatly value the support and welcome that Gibraltar provides, especially as we prepare for wide-ranging operations in the Mediterranean Sea.”
Upon leaving Gibraltar the group will help NATO’s Operation Sea Guardian, which includes Maritime Security activity within the Mediterranean Sea, and training alongside the UK’s regional partners.