Home Europe Royal Navy flagship HMS Albion wraps up experimental mission

Royal Navy flagship HMS Albion wraps up experimental mission

HMS Albion
HMS Albion returning to Devonport. Photo: Royal Navy

The Royal Navy flagship HMS Albion has wrapped up her three-month experimental autumn deployment to the Mediterranean returning to Devonport on December 4.

The assault ship led the Littoral Response Group (Experimentation) (LRG(X)) on a series of exercises which will help shape the Royal Navy and Royal Marines of tomorrow.

Working together with destroyer HMS Dragon and landing ship RFA Lyme Bay, the task group has focused on developing the tactics and technology which will drive the future navy and Royal Marine’s Future Commando Force.

They tested new equipment, such as drones, which could be used for resupplying equipment to commandos on the ground, miniature aerial helicopters for surveillance and underwater autonomous sonars to help map beaches for landings.

In all, 40 experimental concepts have been tested in nine major exercises, largely focused around Cyprus in October and November.

A sailor launches a Puma UAV from HMS Albion during the deployment. Photo: Royal Navy

In addition to experimentation, the task group worked with NATO allies and regional partners to promote stability and security in the Mediterranean.

The ships, helicopters and Royal Marines trained alongside forces from Cyprus, France, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Turkey and Ukraine.

Albion and Lyme Bay, which is home in Portland next week, also took part in NATO’s operation Sea Guardian, where they investigated over 200 cargo vessels, tankers and container ships, operating on a vital commercial transit route between Asia, Africa and Europe.

“This deployment has focused on testing new ideas, concepts and kit to help us constantly adapt in a changing world. Additionally, we have also completed vital work in the Mediterranean, North Africa and Black Sea Regions alongside our NATO and regional allies to support regional security and stability,” Commander Jason Eacock, Albion’s executive officer, said.

“I am extremely proud of what has been achieved from our sailors and Royal Marines during this three-month deployment, especially with the added pressures and complications from Covid. We now look forward to reuniting with our family and friends for the Christmas holidays, and we thank them for supporting us during our time away.”