Flagship HMS Ocean has completed her part in the BALTOPS war games staged by NATO in the Baltic.
The vessel reportedly lead not only the UK’s involvement but also served as NATO’s flagship.
“This year we had over 4,000 sailors and marines operating in 43 different ships from 17 nations, all honing their professional skills and making lasting partnerships.”
Col Garth Manger RM
BALTOPS was useful to HMS Ocean due to her impending amphibious deployment when she leads the RN’s Joint Expeditionary Force – Maritime to the Mediterranean in the autumn.
Exercise BALTOPS exists to demonstrate the unity of NATO allies and partners in the region whilst indicating strength in providing security in the Baltic Region.
She also had multinational NATO Command teams embarked, and was home to personnel from several NATO nations, and partner nations, including Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden and the USA.
BALTOPS is an annual exercise which tests the 16 allied and partner maritime nations taking part. The helicopter carrier will be taking part in one of the largest exercises in northern Europe, which aims to assure nations of NATO’s commitment to the security and stability of the region.
The 21,000 tonne vessel is an amphibious assault ship and landing platform helicopter. She is designed to support amphibious landing operations and to support the staff of Commander UK Amphibious Force and Commander UK Landing Force.
Secretary of State for Defence, Michael Fallon said the move “sends a strong message to our enemies that we are ready to respond to any threat, and defend our allies”.
The Navy also deployed three mine sweepers with around 130 personnel for NATO operations in the Baltic Sea, North Atlantic, North Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.