UK's amphibious flagship HMS Albion home after displaying military might on Exercise Joint Viking
HMS Albion, the UK's amphibious flagship, has returned to Plymouth following the completion of Exercise Joint Viking in Norway.
The exercise saw 12,000 personnel from allied nations across the world come together for training to defend Norway's frontiers and Nato's northern flank in the face of a modern threat.
RFA Mounts Bay, frigate HMS Somerset and HMS Albion 'answered the call' of defending Norway from an 'aggressor'.
- British and Dutch marines 'drop in to' Exercise Joint Viking
- British troops join thousands of allies in Norway's largest military exercise
- Royal Marines train to become 'mountain ghosts' in punishing Arctic terrain
The task group is operating as part of the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) military alliance.
Captain Marcus Hember, commanding officer of HMS Albion, explained how important it is to be able to act quickly in the face of a threat.
"What JEF does, in this environment, means we can act quickly. We take our security seriously, and so when it matters, we will turn up," he said.
"Alongside our partner nations, Nato and, more broadly, our allies and partners, the JEF will continue to deliver as a collective of 10 like-minded north European Nations," he added.
While HMS Albion and accompanying ships operated in Norway's frozen fjords, Royal Marines parachuted onto a frozen lake with their Dutch counterparts.
The exercise was an opportunity for HMS Albion to prove its crew's specialist beach landing abilities.
Day and night in freezing conditions, 4 Assault Squadron Royal Marines (4ASRM) – Albion’s in houses landing craft experts – carefully moved vehicles, 105mm guns from 29 Commando, and ISO containers carrying equipment from the fjord beaches to RFA Mounts Bay using their large landing craft (the LCU).
Exercise Joint Viking is a Norwegian armed forces-led military winter exercise held every two years, designed for participating troops to learn how to operate effectively in the High North and with each other to deter the threats and enhance security in the region. It is one of the largest winter Joint Expeditionary Force deployments.
The UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force is a collection of 10 allied nations, including Norway, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Sweden, who together react to events in northern Europe, remaining on standby to rapidly respond in the event of a crisis.