Fleet Flagship HMS Ocean has deployed to take part in a huge multinational NATO exercise in the Baltic Sea.
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 is also deploying three mine sweepers with around 130 personnel for NATO operations in the Baltic Sea, North Atlantic, North Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.
HMS Ocean became the Royal Navy Fleet Flagship in June 2015.
BALTOPS has run for more than 40 years and includes anti-air, anti-surface, anti-submarine and mine countermeasures warfare as well as amphibious landings.