UK flagship HMS Albion has joined a NATO security mission in the Mediterranean.
The amphibious assault ship is helping to monitor shipping in the region and curb terrorism, smuggling, arms trafficking and other illegal activities, the Royal Navy said.
The ship, plus supporting amphibious vessel RFA Lyme Bay, joined the Sea Guardian mission task force after undergoing training in Egypt and Cyprus.
Much of the work in the eastern Mediterranean is being led by one of NATO’s two major task groups, Standing Maritime Group Two, with Group One patrolling northern Europe.
The group is comprised of Spanish frigate ESPS Cristobal Colon, tanker ESPS Patino and Bulgarian frigate BGS Smeli.
Albion joined the Spanish vessels for a Replenishment At Sea to take on fuel and conduct helicopter deck landing training.
Under coronavirus restrictions, Albion welcomed the task group's commander, Rear Admiral Manuel Aguirre Aldereguía, and his Chief-of-Staff, Royal Navy Commander Dave Sandy, on board.
"Today has been a great example of NATO interoperability, with two task groups conducting a rendezvous mid-Mediterranean and undertaking some advanced and seamless training," the Spanish admiral said.
"All units have benefited from this fantastic opportunity and it proves yet again the Alliance´s strength as a multinational force."
Under the Sea Guardian banner, Albion and Lyme Bay have already investigated more than 200 ships operating on a commercial transit route between Asia, Africa and Europe.
Cover image: Sailor on board HMS Albion as tanker ESPS Patino sails past in the background (Picture: Royal Navy).