HMS Ocean will return to Gibraltar today after her humanitarian mission in the Caribbean for a short visit ahead of assuming NATO tasking in the Mediterranean.
This brief visit will afford Ocean the opportunity to embark stores whilst giving the Ship’s Company a chance to enjoy Gibraltar.
During the visit, 20 members of the Ship’s Company will participate in an Act of Remembrance and a reception to mark the 212th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar that will honour the memory of those who fell in the engagement.
As is traditional for visiting Royal Navy units, a number of the Ship’s Company will participate in the ‘Rock Run’, which will see hundreds of Sailors and Marines racing up in this hotly contested event.
HMS Ocean will arrive in Gibraltar directly from the Caribbean where she has been engaged in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations. Whilst alongside she will take the opportunity to re-embark vehicles and other stores that were disembarked last month en route to the Caribbean in order to make room for additional HADR supplies.
Upon leaving Gibraltar, Ocean sails into the Mediterranean to assume the role of Flagship for Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2). Her deployment to SNMG2 represents the most recent in a string of Royal Navy commitments to this significant NATO task; not only will she take over the Flagship role from another Royal Navy ship (the Type 45 Destroyer HMS DIAMOND), the Commander of SNMG2 is himself a Royal Navy officer (Commodore James Morley Royal Navy).
SNMG2 will command a number of multi-national exercises aimed at fostering better interoperability between the naval and amphibious forces of numerous NATO nations.
“My Ship’s Company and I are very much looking forward to our visit to Gibraltar, a territory that has been synonymous with the Royal Navy and its operations in the Mediterranean for hundreds of years,” said the Commanding Officer of HMS Ocean, Captain Robert Pedre.
“Looking ahead to our NATO tasking, I am sure that HMS Ocean will make a significant contribution to NATO’s efforts to maintain security in the Mediterranean region,” he added.
Photo by David Parody