HMS Ocean and HMS Bulwark have deployed on the COUGAR’15 exercise.
HMS Ocean has deployed with Royal Marines and Merlin, Apache and Chinook helicopters in order to take part in this years COUGAR exercise. The helicopter carrier will join a task group of 70 warships from across NATO and host the task force commander Rear Admiral Tony Radakin.
Also joining the helicopter carrier is landing platform dock HMS Bulwark with armoured amphibious Vikings and support vehicles.
HMS Ocean is an amphibious assault ship, the Royal Navy’s sole Landing Platform Helicopter and the fleet flagship of the Royal Navy. She is designed to support amphibious landing operations and to support the staff of Commander UK Amphibious Force and Commander UK Landing Force.
HMS Bulwark is the second ship of the Royal Navy’s Albion-class assault ships. She is one of the United Kingdom’s two newest amphibious vessels designed to put Royal Marines ashore by air and by sea.
The deployment, named Cougar 15, is the annual deployment of the UK’s high readiness maritime expeditionary force aimed at demonstrating the Royal Navy’s ability to deploy forces overseas for a variety of tasks.
Captain Nick Cooke-Priest, the commanding officer of HMS Bulwark, said:
“The Cougar deployment, with its participation in Trident Juncture, is a hugely important task for HMS Bulwark and the Royal Navy.
Our departure marks the culmination of two months of maintenance and preparations by my ship’s company to ready HMS Bulwark for a deployment that will be intense, challenging and rewarding in equal measure.”
The exercises will reach a climax with Trident Juncture.
Exercise Trident Juncture 2015 will be held through October and November around the seas around Portugal, Spain and Italy.