The Royal Navy will lead its largest task group in more than 15 years into the Baltic Sea.

The Royal Navy say that HMS Albion will lead a two-month-long Baltic Protector mission, involving 20 ships, nearly 2,000 British personnel from all three Services.

According to a release:

“The deployment is the first large-scale run out of the new UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force, set up four years ago with eight like-minded nations – Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden – to forge a force of more than 10,000 military personnel in the air, at sea and on land if required to respond to world events.

The aim is to demonstrate the ability of participants to mobilise forces at short notice, deploy them and fight side-by-side to protect Europe at a time of increased threat.”

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said that deploying a task group on such a scale demonstrated Britain’s “unwavering commitment to European security and stability” as the country prepared to leave the European Union:

“Deploying our world-class sailors and Royal Marines to the Baltic, alongside our international allies, firmly underlines Britain’s leading role in Europe,” he added.

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A good ship. Questions of future replacements come to mind. I’d also be interested to know the composition of the 20 ships. Not sure how many of those ships would be major combatants looking at the countries involved.

Glass Half Full

Probably worth taking a quick look at the Danish, Dutch and Norwegian navies on Wikipedia before being too critical? Between these three countries they have 11x pretty much state of the art AAW destroyers/frigates, 3x amphibious support ships, 2x LPDs, 6x GP frigates, 10x subs and then a bunch of corvettes and patrol vessels that are quite capable. All that before adding in Swedish and Finnish subs, corvettes and fast attack craft specifically designed for anti-ship and anti-sub ops in the Baltic … and bunch of minesweepers from most of the countries. And then we shouldn’t lose sight of the… Read more »

Thanks for your reply. Not being critical, simply musing over which ships will be involved. Was aware of the fleet composition of the majority of the countries involved, but thanks for the recommend. I do find wiki has its uses. Not going into the maths, but you mind find it interesting, generally whatever ships a navy has, roughly a third will be deployed (third in training, third in maintenance). So, bearing in that in mind and also the fact that the other navies will also have multiple engagements for their larger ships, just like we do, the amount they will… Read more »

Glass Half Full

Thanks, I’m familiar with rule of thirds. Also accurate to say that in time of tension its usually possible to surge 2/3+. I took the opportunity to highlight the naval assets because too often people ignore or overlook just how much capability European and Scandinavian nations in aggregate contribute in naval assets. I haven’t tracked how these nations deploy their ships but I believe they would take the JEF seriously and plan for assets to be available as needed for training, given its direct relevance to their security. If Russia were to ever move against Europe, as unlikely as that… Read more »

Cam Hunter

I love HMS Albion and Bulwark, I always thought they had an aircraft hangar though…but they don’t! I hope we atleast save 1 as a museum ship once retired from service. I would visit and work on it for free.

Simon

What, and do HMG out of the couple of quid they get for scrap 😉

HMG have absolutely zero notion of “pride”: Should have kept Lusty 🙁

Harry Bulpit

It’s a discrace. 1 million for a carrier. Had i been older at the time id have generally looked in to getting some funding to turn her in to a buch of flats on the river Thames. 2 if not 1 of the apartments alone would have probably covered the cost of the ship. Oh well guess i csn start looking at buying a bulwark. The flood deck would make for an interesting comumity area.

Cam

Hell yeah, even a helicopter landing area for London, just like Royal Oak was planed to be… Hms Hermes should come home, the Indians will take a few million, we could raise that if the public got behind the Falkland Islands hero…

Harry Bulpit

I think a private helicopter pad for luxury apartments, with ampal private parking all within central London would sell well.

Nick C

Ships have a life, like people, and then at least they are recycled, unlike us. If you want to see why this current exercise is important and where it may lead I point you to page 30 of today’s Times. Ukraine is asking NATO to assist with freedom of navigation through the Kerch Strait to allow access to the Sea of Azov. This is an international waterway, now closed by the Russians, since they annexed Crimea they control both sides and are denying Ukraine access to their ports, a very effective blockade. Russia wants to control all of eastern Ukraine,… Read more »

Cam Hunter

Humans are recycled when dead m8, be it ash or rotting into the ground, it all goes back into nature in the end

Ulya

Nick, The Kerch Straights and the Sea of Azov are not international water ways, it is an inland Sea jointly controlled by Russia and Ukraine. Ukraine has every right to allow any ship it wants into it’s part of the Sea, they just have to follow Russian rules when in the straight as we control both sides now, pretty simple rules. If Russia wanted control of Donbass, we could of taken it in 2014, we already have the sanctions, a few more makes no difference and Europe would of done nothing, what Russia wants is for the people of Donbass… Read more »

Meiron X

The Euromaidan revolution was a popular revolt of the people of Ukraine, against the corrupt and treading autocratic government of Victor Yanukovych. Russia should have respected the will of the Ukraine people. Russia should put on trial Victor Yanukovych for his crimes, maybe in a third country.

‘a few more makes no difference and Europe would of done nothing’. Ulya, it is not would of, but would have. It comes from the shortening of ‘would have’ to would’ve…so the assumption is it is ‘would of’. It is a common mistake made by un-schooled native English speakers…but interestingly, most foreigners get this right??

Gunbuster

Some cracking pictures of the interiors of the well dock on a bay and Albion…I am getting all nostalgic looking at them…

https://www.savetheroyalnavy.org/up-close-a-royal-navy-night-amphibious-exercise-with-nato-partners/