The Royal Navy has deployed its amphibious assault ship, HMS Albion to become the NATO Flagship leading an international task group, on Feb. 6, 2018.
The ship sailed from Devonport Naval Base in Plymouth to head the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2), operating in the Mediterranean for five months.
Captain Tim Neild, HMS Albion commanding officer, said: “It is a huge privilege for us to fly the flag of the NATO task group commander in such a high profile deployment.
“This symbolises the importance that the UK and the Royal Navy places on our role in NATO and in assuring the collective defence and security of NATO allies and partners.’’
He thanked the families of the his ship’s company and the Devonport and wider Defence community for the huge task of getting his ship through her major upgrade and training and final preparations including loading of tonnes of stores and vehicles and military equipment.
Morale was extremely high and everyone was looking forward to being at the hub of NATO’s premier naval force. He said HMS Albion was the ideal ship for having at the ready poised in the Mediterranean for any tasking required.
In the meantime the ship would be deploying her full versatility during exercises – much like the Swiss army knife of UK defence – capable of a wide range of operations from humanitarian to ‘whites-of-the-eyes’ combat, said Captain Neild.