WATCH: 40 Commando training on HMS Albion

Charlie Company, 40 Commando conducted CQB (Close Quarter Battle) training in the well dock of HMS Albion in the Far East recently.

40 Commando (pronounced ‘Forty Commando’) is a battalion-sized component of 3 Commando Brigade. The Commando is based at Norton Manor Camp outside Taunton, Somerset.

Like 42 and 45 Commando, 40 Commando is made up of 6 companies:

  • Command Company
  • Logistics Company
  • Alpha Company (A Coy) (Close Combat Company)
  • Bravo Company (B Coy) (Stand Off Company)
  • Charlie Company (C Coy) (Close Combat Company)
  • Delta Company (D Coy) (Stand Off Company)

For a breakdown of what each type of company contains, see the main Royal Marines page.

Recently,HMS Albion was challenged by a Chinese frigate and two helicopters during freedom of navigation exercise. It is understood that China dispatched the frigate and two helicopters to challenge HMS Albion as it sailed through the disputed sea. Local media report that both sides remained calm during the encounter and the Royal Navy assault ship continued on course despite protests from China.

HMS Albion was understood to be conducting a freedom of navigation maneuver, Reuters reported, citing two people familiar with the matter. The ship was on its way to Ho Chi Minh City, where it docked on Monday following a deployment in and around Japan, it said. The Paracel island chain is also claimed by Vietnam, which in May asked China to end bomber aircraft drills in the area, calling it a violation of its own sovereignty.

A spokesman for the Royal Navy said:

“HMS Albion exercised her rights for freedom of navigation in full compliance with international law and norms.”

China’s foreign ministry said in a statement sent to Reuters:

“The relevant actions by the British ship violated Chinese law and relevant international law, and infringed on China’s sovereignty. China strongly opposes this and has lodged stern representations with the British side to express strong dissatisfaction.

China strongly urges the British side to immediately stop such provocative actions, to avoid harming the broader picture of bilateral relations and regional peace and stability. China will continue to take all necessary measures to defend its sovereignty and security”.

Albion is one of three British warships sent to the region to signify the UK doesn’t recognise the hotly disputed and according to some, excessive, Chinese claims in the region.

The primary function of the vessel is to embark, transport, deploy and recover troops and their equipment. The ship can host 305 troops with an overload of a further 405. The class features a vehicle deck capacity of up to six tanks or around 30 armoured all-terrain vehicles.

Albion features a floodable well dock, with the capacity to take either four utility landing craft (each capable of carrying a Challenger 2 tank) or shelter a hovercraft landing craft.

Four smaller landing craft are positioned on port and starboard davits, each capable of carrying 35 troops. The vessel features a two-spot 64m flight deck able to take medium support helicopters and stow a third or operate a Chinook. However, Albion does not have a hangar.

6 COMMENTS

  1. For those that haven’t seen or experienced the inside of an LPD vehicle deck, now you know how cavernous it is. Far, far bigger than Oceans vehicle deck ever was.
    The exercise was taking place on only one side of the well deck wet area. It is in the space normally occupied by one of the LCU’s. There are usually 2 in the dock on each side.
    The rapid roping was from the Mez deck which (when its not a gym!) carries light vehicles (land rovers, trailers BVs etc.).
    The ramp they walked down is the wet beach area which is used for loading the LCUs from the vehicle deck which is the same size again as the well deck. As I said cavernous! At the far end of the well deck there is an LCVP and possibly an ORC although the video isn’t clear enough to confirm. ORC’s can be carried onboard and launched from the vehicle deck into the wet well deck either from a trailer or by using the overhead crane.

    Regarding the flight deck if it was upgraded during the refit to the same standard as same as Bulwarks then it can land and operate 2 Chinooks from the spots, not just medium lift Merlins. Its a tight squeeze but do’able.

  2. In my fantasy navy I have the Royal Navy building 2 more upgraded version these ships name Fearless and Intrepid. These would eventually replace the existing Albion and Bulwark when the retire, but until then they would all be in service together. I know and understanding the manning issue but my suggestion is the Royal navy look to recruit seamen from the British Commonwealth to help man these ships. There are millions of graduate and technically qualified unemployed young men and women all over the British Commonwealth of Nations, if given a chance and the right incentive (their pay would be less than UK citizens) like given the Gurkhas such as pensions, healthcare and even in some case UK citizen (in the mode of the French Foreign Legion) would sign up in a heart beat.

  3. The RN already recruits from the commonwealth. However due to 5 eyes restrictions most join as stokers or loggies. If you are going to be looking at UK eyes only you are not going to be a weapon engineer or work in the ops room.

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