Navy

Life On Board HMS Ocean

The Royal Navy's flagship HMS Ocean has spent the past three months in the Gulf.400 sailors and Royal Marines live and work on board the...

The Royal Navy's flagship HMS Ocean has spent the past three months in the Gulf.

400 sailors and Royal Marines live and work on board the helicopter landing platform.

For HMS Ocean it's been a relentless three days of military manoeuvres.

On her decks Sea King and Merlin helicopters come and go.

They're heading out into the Gulf to provide protection to the following naval task force or hunt simulated mines and submarines. 

This is the first time a Royal Navy ship like Ocean has been put in charge of a US Naval task force.

Fully packed, Ocean's hanger can house 12 helicopters. Getting them airborne involves some careful manoeuvring.

Around 120 soldiers from Lima Company, 42 Commando are also on board for this exercise. For the Royal Navy it's been something of a proving ground.

It's a chance to test not just Ocean's warfighting abilities but also how well the UK can command a US battlegroup.

She's due to return to Plymouth in March. This is expected to be her last full year of service before she's decommissioned next year. 

More: HMS Ocean Takes The Lead In The Gulf

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