Warships of 13 NATO nations have taken part in Exercise Brilliant Mariner, one of the principle opportunities for the Alliance to enhance maritime collaboration.

Brilliant Mariner 17 is designed to exercise the NATO Response Force (Maritime) 2018 interoperability, evaluate their readiness and validate the capabilities of the NRF 2018 MCC by exercising NRF missions and tasks.

Brilliant Mariner is focusing on maritime expeditionary operations, enhancing joint collaboration, improving interoperability and implementing the most recent NATO doctrines and concepts.

A total of more than 3,500 personnel and involves more than 27 ships and submarines, supported by rotary wing aircraft. Participants are from Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portagues, Spanish, Turkey and UK.

According to the HMS Diamonds newsletter, ‘Diamond in the Rough’:

“As is the nature of the work that we do, this planning and preparation was very quickly put to the test. Having exited the English Channel, Diamond settled into her first watch routines and proceeded south on her journey across a choppy Bay of Biscay. Meanwhile, three thousand miles away on the other side of the Atlantic, Hurricane Irma tore a path through a significant portion of the Caribbean, including several British territories.

The UK’s response was to send HMS Ocean to support the relief effort. She had been due to take up the prestigious role as Flagship of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2). As she was required on the other side of the world, this was not to be.
Signals indicating that this would fall to Diamond began trickling into the Ship shortly before we were due to come alongside in Gibraltar.

Though this would temporarily put OP KIPION on hold, Diamond, fully worked up for deployment, was more than ready to accept this assignment. Tying up for a shortened Gibraltar visit, plans were finalised to embark the SNMG2 Battle Staff in Montenegro.”


0 0 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mr Bell

Cannot wait to see QE and a full battlegroup deployed. I know, I know it will take most of the RN available surface fleet. Still she is going to be a real sight, sailing in company with x2 type 45s and 3-4 type 23s with auxiliaries in support.
Now just got to get all 8 type 26s and 10-15 type 31s built.
QE and POW really are a class above all other European warships and make the mistral and Spanish lphds look insignificant.


I doubt we’ll ever see an all-UK battlegroup as you describe, or if we do it will be close to a one-off. Even the USA often incorporates foreign vessels into its carrier groups and I am sure the UK will do the same so perhaps one T45 and a couple of T23 plus auxiliaries with 1 or 2 foreign vessels attached. I agree with Harold that we’ll never see 10-15 T31 but I’d guess we will see 6 built so that the government can, at least numerically, make good on its stated aim that T31 would allow it to increase… Read more »

Mr Bell

God Harold, sorry to say this but I hope to god you are wrong.


I think HMS Ocean was entering it’s natural retirement period anyway, been a great ship for the RN though… Hope Bulwark and Albion stay in service “fingers crossed” but with our politicians not sure eek. I think julian is correct when he say’s 3 UK escorts plus other NATO and friendly countries helping out just like the UK has been helping the French and United States with escort duties.