Task force heads to the Med

Cougar 12 task force with HMS Bulwark taking the lead.
Cougar 12 task force with HMS Bulwark taking the lead.
Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson. Pictute: LPhot Ioan Roberts

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A MIGHTY Royal Navy task force is heading to the Mediterranean for international war games.

Exercise Cougar 12 will see 3,000 naval personnel training with French, American and Albanian forces.

The task force, which includes Portsmouth-based carrier HMS Illustrious, will team up with the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and the French amphibious assault ship, Mistral for the first ‘battle’ called Exercise Corsican Lion.

Commodore Paddy McAlpine, who is leading Cougar 12 said: ‘This is a great opportunity to test our capability and our interoperability with key allies including the French, American and Albanian maritime and land forces, and really provides the Lead Commando Group with superb training facilities in order that we can hone our aptitude as the UK’s high readiness maritime force.’