Rabu, Juni 09, 2010

Amphibious Task Group Heads For The USA

HMS Albion embarks 3 Commando brigade Royal Marines prior to sailing

The Royal Navy’s amphibious flagship, HMS Albion sails today, leading the UK’s amphibious Task Group for exercises with the United States Marine Corps and navy off the East coast of the USA. The AURIGA deployment, as it is known, includes a Carrier Strike Group led by the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal. However, the focus of attention for Commander Amphibious Task Group and Stonehouse based staff from 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines will be a series of exercises in the challenging terrain of Camp Lejeune in North Virginia. The amphibious Task Group began the year with Exercise COLD RESPONSE in Norway and the hot and humid climate of the swamplands of the eastern USA will provide training in a very different environment.

The amphibious Task Group will arrive in late June and will be joined by an impressive force of US warships including the USS Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group and 26 Marine Expeditionary Unit – over 8000 US Navy personnel and marines. The US and UK force will conduct familiarisation training before tackling a scenario loosely based on tackling an aggressor nation threatening regional stability in a fictional part of the globe but centred on the excellent training facilities offered in Camp Lejeune.

Plymouth based HMS Albion, HMS Ocean and RFA Largs Bay sail on 9th and 10th June with men from Bickleigh based 42 Cdo RM as well as elements of 29 Cdo RA, Stonehouse based 30 IX Cdo RM and personnel and helicopters from Commando Helicopter Force.

The short deployment will last until mid August when most of the ships will return to the UK.

Exercise AURIGA is part of a series of training exercises that will build on the UK’s ability to conduct small scale focused Intervention operations anywhere in the world, delivering amphibious forces supported by air power from the Joint Harrier force.

Commodore Paul Bennett, Commander Amphibious Task Group said:

“I am delighted to be leading some of the UK’s most capable warships in this important exercise where we will refresh our working practices with US amphibious forces”.

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