HMS Albion Gets Ready To Trial Future Commando Force Tactics

HMS Albion is going through her final preparations before deploying for vital training in the High North alongside NATO allies and regional partners.

The amphibious assault ship has been loading supplies and equipment at Fife's Rosyth Dockyard in Scotland ahead of setting sail as part of the Littoral Response Group North.

It will see her operate in the North Atlantic, Arctic and Baltic Sea, leading a strike group testing the Royal Navy's Future Commando Force transformation strategy - developing the service's amphibious strike capability for the future. 

Captain Pete Goddard, 4 Assault Squadron, said: "These drills are going to be the bread and butter of what we end up doing every day working in small teams and inserting via small craft quite often in the dead of night.

"Making sure the guys understand that and they can move forward and can do that comfortably will be key to our success."

The new technology and tactics being used on the deployment were tested during training in the Mediterranean last year.

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

For the Royal Marines, this latest deployment is especially important as they look to practise operating in smaller, more specialised teams as part of the FCF - described by the Navy as the most significant transformation and rebranding programme since the Second World War.

Lieutenant Colonel Innes Catton, Commanding Officer 45 Commando, talked about the "unique" selling points of the smaller teams. 

"Based off a ship like HMS Albion, we are able to bring that effect from the maritime across a vast area.

"So these small teams and their ability to punch inland, have effect and quickly recover, will be raiding for the 21st Century," he added.  

The marines have been preparing for the deployment by exercising at Barry Buddon Training Area near Dundee.

The task force is made up of HMS Lancaster, RFA Mounts Bay, Wildcat helicopters from 847 Naval Air Squadron, 30 Commando Information Exploitation Group and marines of 45 Commando.

As well as putting new ways of working into practice on a large scale over the next few weeks, the deployment also aims to reassure allies and deter adversaries in the region.

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