For the next few weeks, three MV-22 Ospreys will operate from the deck of HMS Ocean as the US Marine Corps carry out joint training with Royal Marines Commandos around the central Mediterranean.
While an impressive sight, this is not the first time that Ospreys have flown from Ocean as they used her flight deck extensively during NATO’s recent Trident Juncture exercise.
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. She can operate up to 18 helicopters, four landing craft and 830 Royal Marines.
The V-22 Osprey can, through the use of a tilt rotor, is designed to combine the functionality of a conventional helicopter with the long-range, high-speed cruise performance of a turboprop aircraft. The aircraft’s rotors can fold, and the wings can rotate so it can be stored on an aircraft carrier.
Commander Adie Baker said:
“Having just taken over as Commander Air, it is terrific to have the opportunity to work with the Osprey so early in my tenure, while they have visited Ocean in the past, having them embarked for a few weeks for amphibious exercises is the next step in increasing our ability to operate more closely with our allies.”
The Ospreys will transport their own forces as well as the men of 45 Commando.