The Portsmouth based vessel will be joined by HMS Albion as more than 1,000 sailors and Royal Marines departed on the three-month mission to develop two specially trained forces – the Littoral Strike Group, which replaces the Amphibious Task Group, and the Future Commando Group (FCF) which is ‘at the heart of the evolution of the Royal Marines’.
The deployment will build on cold weather trials and training conducted by the Royal Marines in Norway earlier this year.
Commodore Rob Pedre, who is leading the mission, commented: ‘This deployment will provide high-readiness, forward-deployed options, provide strategic reassurance to our allies and partners, deter malevolent actors, strengthen NATO, and conduct wide-ranging defence experimentation.
‘We will test cutting-edge technology and innovative concepts such as the Future Commando Force and the Littoral Strike Force concept to ensure our war-fighting edge in an era of constant competition.’
This deployment will see the commandos test and develop tactics using innovative new kit and build experience working alongside NATO Allies and regional partners. It will also include a series of training exercises and port visits in the Black Sea to demonstrate the UK’s support for regional security and freedom of movement in the region’s waters.