HMS Ocean has now settled into the NATO SNMG2 Flagship role after taking over from HMS Diamond.
HMS Ocean had been expecting to take up the SNMG2 Flagship role in September, but was re-tasked to enable her participation in Operation Ruman; the UK Department for International Development led humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operation in the Caribbean.
Over the coming months SNMG2 will participate in a number of multi-national exercises to develop greater interoperability between the naval forces of NATO members.
HMS Ocean is a large and highly capable amphibious ship, this will enable her to make a significant contribution to the exercise programme. She will host Royal Marines from 40 Commando, US Marines and naval aviation from 820, 845 and 847 Naval Air Squadrons based in the UK.
The Commanding Officer of HMS Ocean, Captain Robert Pedre, said:
“My Ship’s Company are proud to have assumed the role of SNMG2 Flagship. HMS OCEAN is an incredibly capable amphibious and command platform and represents a significant UK contribution to NATO’s efforts to maintain security in the Mediterranean region.”
SNMG2 fulfils a contingency role in the Mediterranean region; it can never be predicted what events or emerging threats may arise but the Task Group would be the first on call and ready to respond say NATO.
HMS Ocean is the Royal Navy’s Landing Platform Helicopter and Fleet Flagship. A helicopter carrier and amphibious assault ship, Ocean is designed to deliver troops to the centre of the action by helicopter or by landing craft.
Aviation capabilities include six helicopter operating spots on her flight deck with space in the hangar to hold, transport and maintain many more aircraft. Ocean’s complement Ship’s Company of 400 personnel includes 9 Assault Squadron Royal Marines (9 ASRM), who operate the four Mk5 Landing Craft Vehicle and Personnel (LCVP), providing the projection of fighting capability ashore for HMS OCEAN.
The 21,500 tonne amphibious assault ship was launched in 1995, has a top speed of 16 knots and a range in excess 8,000 miles on a single tank of fuel.