Royal Navy Task Force Trains With Italian Carrier Group

The training with the Italian ships was the last major act of the Royal Navy's autumn Mediterranean deployment.

Britain's amphibious task force has trained alongside an Italian carrier group ahead of returning home from the Mediterranean.

UK flagship HMS Albion and supporting amphibious ship RFA Lyme Bay joined forces with ITS Giuseppe Garibaldi and her escorts in the central Mediterranean.

Albion and Lyme Bay have formed the core of the UK’s new Littoral Response Group, conducting trials and exercises to help shape the amphibious forces and Royal Marines of the future.

The two ships met up with the Italian vessels after taking part in NATO's Mediterranean maritime security mission, Operation Sea Guardian.

During the combined training, the carrier group tested everything from basic communications through to manoeuvring in close proximity. 

The Garibaldi is home to AV-8B jump jets which tested their ability to evade the British defence systems during a simulated air defence exercises.

HMS Albion after training with ITS Giuseppe Garibaldi and her escorts in the central Mediterranean (Picture: Royal Navy).

The allies also practised some helicopter ‘cross-decking’ and took part in an anti-submarine exercise, before a ceremonial sail-past as they went their separate ways.

Albion’s Navigator, Lieutenant Sam Furniss, said: "The training was rich and provided all units with a challenge in operating together as one in order to counter a number of exercise threats.

"Although relatively short in duration, the knowledge and experience taken forward from this is invaluable and serves as a real highlight for both the UK’s commitment to NATO and Royal Navy operations in the Mediterranean Sea."

HMS Albion is due to return to Plymouth later this week.

Cover image: HMS Albion sailors wave to Italian frigate Carlo Bergamini after training in the central Mediterranean (Picture: Royal Navy).