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NAVY NEWS, MARCH 2009 15
ONE of the largest amphibious deployments in recent years being put through her paces by those demanding folk of FOST. be immensely proud of their achievement over the previous eight
has set off with 12 ships and other units heading out to the
Royal Marines of 40 Commando took up the mantle of embarked weeks.
Far East.
military force – as they are now doing for Taurus – proving their He told the assembled company that without exception everyone
Taurus 09 has a Task Force that boasts 12 ships, including a US
amphibious landing skills by means of landing craft or helicopter. on board had raised their game and embraced the challenge,
destroyer and a French frigate, two submarines, green berets from
The air group for the training pulled together the powerful assets getting their ship ready to sail for amphibious operations anywhere
40 Commando, 539 ASRM, helicopters from 820 NAS, 857 NAS
of ASaC Sea Kings from 857 NAS, junglie Sea Kings from 845, in the world.
and the Commando Helicopter Force, and even Chinooks from the
Merlins from 820 and Lynx from 815. HMS Ocean’s Commanding Officer Capt Simon Kings said: “Six
RAF’s 18 Squadron.
While the beach suffered the heavy tramp of bootneck boots, months ago my ship looked like a building site. We are now ready
This massive force of sailors, marines, airmen, divers will be
on board ship the marines joined sailors to assist them in fending for operations worldwide.
bolstered by other troops, aircraft and ships along the path of its
off the FOSTies’ demands in firefighting, medical emergency and “The ship’s company has really dug out and delivered a
20,400-mile journey to the east and home again.
damage control exercises. performance I am extremely proud of.
The deployment is split into two main phases, with the first seeing
The Commanding Officer of 40 Commando, Lt Col Paul James, “We look forward to whatever the next six months may bring the
the British forces joining other nations in the Mediterranean to run said: “After tours in Afghanistan and Iraq in recent years, being Mighty O.”
amphibious landings in Turkey as part of Exercise Egemen; phase involved in amphibious exercises like this is excellent for Royal As the ships readied for their departure, on board flagship HMS
two involves a further training package in the jungles of Brunei. Marines because it takes us back to our roots and is what we do Bulwark CINC Fleet Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope said: “I consider the
However before setting off to a foreign shore sailors, airmen best.” Royal Navy to be one of the premier navies in the world, and this
and marines enjoyed a chilly training package on the beaches of Obviously all the hard work on board paid off for the men and sort of operation puts us in the premier league.
Cornwall. women of HMS Ocean, who were told by Rear Adm Richard “We can deliver a command and control force at length and
Exercise South-West Sword saw air assault ship HMS Ocean Ibbotson, the Flag Officer Sea Training himself, that they should sustain that force for whatever period of time.”
● Top: Logs(CS) man a fi rst aid post on board HMS Ocean during
OST; a safety brief for the Royal Marines of 40 Cdo on the Merlin; a
marine from Alpha Company readies to board a landing craft; and a
LCVP of 9ASRM sets off for shore
Pictures: LA(Phot) A J Macleod
● Two LCVPs and a workboat at a mexefl ote off Ocean’s hull
Picture: LA(Phot) Bernie Henesy
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