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Helicopter assault ship HMS Ocean is now at five days' notice to deploy anywhere in the world after an air and sea assault exercise with Sea King aircraft and 42 Commando Royal Marines. Picture: LA(PHOT) Graham Meggitt

dreds of Royal Marines from Plymouth-based 42 Commando were embarked in Ocean for Exercise Aurora, with assault ship HMS Fearless, RFA landing ships Sir Galahad and Sir Bedivere and

the destroyer HMS Edinburgh. With the end of the exercise, Ocean will be fully worked-up with the Royal

HMS INVINCIBLE and her task group were heading back to Britain as Navy News went to press. The group - which also includes HMS Newcastle and RFAs Fort Austin and Bayleaf - is not due to be replaced, although RFA Argus has been ordered to the Adriatic to supplement RN forces. • Full story - page 4.

Invincible returns


NAVY NEWS has won a record five Awards of Excellence in a national competition run by the British Association of Communicators in Business. The awards came for Best Newspaper, Best Colour Picture, Best Illustration and two for Best News Story • Full story - page 18.

HELICOPTER carrier HMS Ocean was reaching her highest ever state of readiness as she completed a major amphibious landing exercise off the coast of North Devon writes Dominic Blake. As Navy News went to press hun-

Ocean exercise switch 'a contingency move'

Yeovilton's Commando Helicopter Force, and will be ready to deploy any- where in the world with just five days

Marines and 18 aircraft from

the ultimate peace-time test of the carrier's capabilities - a simultaneous air and sea assault by two companies using a dozen Sea King Mk 4 helicopters and landing craft operated by 9 Assault Squadron RM. Her Commanding Officer, Capt Boh

notice. Exercise Aurora was the culmination of

Turner, said: "Ocean is designed to deploy a battalion-sized unit in an amphibious opera- tion and that is the top end of her war-fight- ing role.

"We will have the capability of operating troop and attack heli- copters and our new landing craft at very long range, and will be perfect- ly placed to seize objectives from over the horizon, and to do it very effectively."

from a tour of Northern Ireland, means that all three elements of 3 Commando Brigade have now lived and worked in the ship. Humanitarian relief operations were con-

biggest ships in the Navy and is the Service's first purpose-built helicopter carrier. And the deployment of 42 Cdo, just back

At 21,500 tons, HMS Ocean is one of the

off the coast of the USA and Canada, but was switched to the UK as a "prudent contin- gency measure" during the intensification of Operation Allied Force in the Balkans.

ducted by 45 Cdo from Ocean in Central America after last year's Hurricane Milch, and 40 Cdo were embarked in the ship for operational sea training which was concluded successfully on April 21. Exercise Aurora was to have taken place

• Report and pictures - pages 20- 21. PEOPLE IN THE NEWS p10-11 • LEISURE p22-23 • RNA p24-25 • SPORT p37-39

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