Royal Marines

HMS Albion To Develop Future Commando Force Tactics On First Deployment Of 2021

HMS Albion's first deployment of the year will be based around trialling new tactics and equipment for the Royal Marines.

During Littoral Response Group North (LRG North), the amphibious assault ship will train alongside NATO and allied partners in the North Atlantic, Arctic and Baltic Sea regions.

The whole deployment will be a platform to further the Future Commando Force (FCF), described by the Navy as the most significant transformation and rebranding programme since the Second World War.

The FCF is designed to modernise the way Royal Marines operate and during LRG North, Royal Marine Strike Companies from 45 Commando will look to develop Strike Company tactics and the forward deployment of Royal Marines.

The Marines will provide smaller teams of more specialist commando forces to make the task group both more agile and more lethal.

In preparation for the deployment, the commandos have been carrying out heavy weapons training.

Marines tested the FCF concepts of working in smaller, more versatile teams during an exercise at Bovington Training Area, Dorset, in September 2020.

Watch: HMS Albion was involved in last year's Littoral Response Group (Experimentation) (LRG(X)) deployment, testing FCF concepts off Cyprus.

Last year, HMS Albion was part of the Littoral Response Group (Experimentation) (LRG(X)) deployment which saw personnel testing elements that could be incorporated into the Future Commando Force.

Off the coast of Cyprus, more than 1,000 sailors and Royal Marines tested and developed new ways of responding to crises.

As part of LRG(X), personnel used the waters, shores and exercise areas of the island to see how drones, autonomous equipment, new technology and kit can transform the way Royal Marines operate.

It was the largest-ever deployment of Royal Navy ships to Cyprus.

Marines also took to land to trial capabilities during the deployment, using drones to resupply and working in larger teams of 12 rather than eight.

HMS Albion will also take part in the 50th Baltic Operations exercise, BALTOPS 50 (Picture: Royal Navy).
HMS Albion will also take part in the 50th Baltic Operations exercise, BALTOPS 50 (Picture: Royal Navy).

The LRG North deployment will provide an opportunity to see how the Strike Company tactics work in practice, as well as integrating commando forces with regional partners to test new ways of working.

There will also be a continuation of using technology, such as remotely piloted air systems (RPAS), in the harsh and challenging environment of the High North.

HMS Albion will also take part in Baltic Operations Exercise BALTOPS 50, working with NATO allies to understand regional threats.

Joining HMS Albion along the way will be RFA Mounts Bay, Wildcat helicopters from Joint Helicopter Command and for periods, a Type-23 frigate.

Albion has been preparing for the deployment around the south-west coast of the UK.