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Protecting our Nation's Interests

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HMS Bulwark

HMS Bulwark

The Flagship of the Ryal Navy and the Nation, HMS Bulwark has recently completed an intensive period of Operational Sea Training (OST) where the Ships’ Company were put through their paces, testing all aspects of the ship to the very limit.

In the exercise areas off the South Coast of England, Bulwark was attacked by simulated missiles, submarines and mines, dealing with major fires, floods and breakdowns at the same time, all such that our senior Commanders could be assured of our ability to ‘fight the ship’.

Almost immediately after our successful OST, Bulwark sailed north to Faslane to participate in Exercise Joint Warrior, the largest exercise of its kind in Europe.

This was an international exercise which coordinates land, sea and air operations in a wide-ranging scenario played out in and around Scotland.

As the Fleet Flagship, Bulwark delivered and exercised both of its primary roles: hosting the combined staffs of Commander UK Task Group and 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines to provide Command and Control of maritime and amphibious forces as well as well as embarking of amphibious forces and vehicles to deploy ashore.

More than doubling the size of the Ship’s Company overnight gave us an immediate challenge!

Conducting a major amphibious assault over 3 days and nights with Dutch Marines, the ship also played a full role in the wider aspects of the exercise scenario where the skills we honed at OST were tested once more.

One of the more unusual but perhaps most likely real-world tasks for Bulwark in the future was staging an evacuation of 150 entitled personnel from ‘war torn’ Galloway. You can read more about this in the News Section.

Now alongside in Devonport conducting some engineering maintenance, Bulwark and her Ship’s Company will soon participate in the celebrations to mark the 350th anniversary of the formation of the Royal Marines at the end of May in London and then to play a prominent role in the marking of the seventieth anniversary of D-Day on both Southsea and Normandy Beaches in early June.

More details of these events and how you can get involved will be posted soon.

Longer term, HMS Bulwark will lead the UK’s Response Force Task Group through the Mediterranean and East of Suez later in the Autumn.

Whether commanding multi-national task forces, providing humanitarian assistance, disaster relief or conducting amphibious operations by sea and by air, HMS Bulwark and her exceptional sailors and marines remain ready to defend the Nation’s interests whenever called upon to do so. 

COMMANDING OFFICER

Dean Bassett

Dean Bassett
RANK:
Captain
JOINED:
1991 (RN), Jan 14 (HMS Bulwark)
SPECIALISATION:
Warfare
PREVIOUS UNITS:
HMS Iron Duke, HMS Monmouth
Military experience

Captain Bassett began his Royal Naval service in 1991 and has previously commanded the Patrol Vessel HMS Dasher and Bristol University Royal Naval Unit. Most recently he commanded the Type 23 Frigate HMS Monmouth on operations with international partners in the Middle East providing global maritime security in the region.

Captain Bassett’s shore assignment highlights include being Flag Lieutenant to the First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff at the Ministry of Defence in London, as well as an appointment on the staff at the UK’s Joint Force Headquarters, where he deployed to a number of operational theaters including Iraq as part of multi-national forces operating in Baghdad.

Immediately prior to joining HMS Bulwark, Captain Bassett was a staff officer within the Plans Division of the UK’s Permanent Joint Headquarters.

Captain Bassett is an alumnus of the Joint Services Command and Staff College where he graduated with a Masters Degree in Defence Studies from King’s College London.


LATEST NEWS

 

TOP STORIES

Military training exercise Joint Warrior draws to a close
14 April 2014

Royal Navy ships, submarines and aircraft together with NATO partners...

Royal Navy evacuates refugees as part of NATO exercise
02 April 2014

Refugees from a war-torn country have been processed and safely...

Preparations begin for Exercise Joint Warrior
24 March 2014

HMS Illustrious, the Royal Navy’s helicopter and commando carrier, and...

HMS Bulwark scoops operational award
21 January 2014

The Royal Navy’s Fleet Flagship, HMS Bulwark, has been presented...

OPERATIONS

Operation Olympics

CURRENT STATUS: COMPLETED
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MISSION SUMMARY

Operation Olympics is the codename for the massive military effort to provide security and assistance to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Some 2,600 sailors, Royal Marines, Fleet Air Arm and RFA personnel are involved from flag raisers at medal ceremonies to venue security, floating command centres, eyes in the sky and helicopters and boats on patrol safeguarding venues.

Cougar 13

CURRENT STATUS: COMPLETED
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MISSION SUMMARY

Cougar is an amphibious task force exercising in the Mediterranean. The Response Force Task Group (RFTG) is the Royal Navy’s High Readiness Task Group. It has a number of units assigned to it including a helicopter carrier, an assault ship, two frigates, as well as a Royal Fleet Auxiliary support ship and Commando units, and several Fleet Air Arm squadrons.

Read More

WEAPONS SYSTEM

Weapons System

Bulwark
  • 20MM Gam-BO1
    Gun
    20mm gun

  • 20MM Gam-BO1
    Gun
    20mm gun

  • Goalkeeper
    Short range gatling gun
    Goalkeeper

    Goalkeeper throws up an impenetrable hail of steel to destroy supersonic missiles and aircraft which have evaded the outer layers of a ship's defences. Goalkeeper is a seven-barrel 30mm Gatling gun spewing 4,200 rounds per minute (70 rounds per second) at incoming enemy aircraft or missiles which have evaded the outer layers of a ship’s defences. It can track up to 15 targets at the same time, deciding which ones are the most dangerous before engaging them at ranges up to 1,500 metres (just short of a mile).

ABOUT THE UNIT

KEY STATISTICS


Pennant

L15

Displacement

18,500Tonnes

Complement

325Personnel

Length

176Metres

Beam

25.6Metres

Draught

7.1Metres

Top Speed

18Knots

Range (Nautical)

8,000Miles

Launch Date

15/11/01

Commissioned Date

28/04/05

Military Lift (LPD only)

305troops

TAKE A LOOK

HMS Bulwark

UNITS IN TIME


HMS Bulwark HISTORY

TRACK THE HISTORY OF SHIPS NAMED HMS Bulwark
  • The First Bulwark

    The current assault ship is the seventh RN warship to bear the name Bulwark in a history that stretches back to 1777 with a third-rate 74-gun vessel, but despite work beginning and her naming, the keel was never laid for the first Bulwark and she was later cancelled.

  • The Second Bulwark

    The second Bulwark made it through build and was launched in April 1807, and served for almost two decades, seeing service in the American War of 1814-15. She was broken up in 1825.

  • The Third Bulwark

    The next Bulwark suffered a similar fate to the first – laid down in 1859, her build was put on hold, and she lay dry until being dismantled in 1872.

  • The Fourth Bulwark

    The fourth, a wooden first-rate 121-gun battleship, made it to launch in 1860, notched up her steam trials in 1861, but was never completed for sea.

  • The Fifth Bulwark

    The fifth, a 15,000-ton twin-screw battleship, was launched at Devonport in 1899, and claims the Antarctic explorer Capt Robert Falcon Scott as one of her commanding officers.

  • Explosion

    She also suffered an ill-fated end off Sheerness in November 1914 – while loading on ammunition an internal explosion tore the heart of the ship apart, killing all but 12 of the 750 ship’s company.

  • The Sixth Bulwark

    The 22,000-ton light fleet carrier, launched in June 1948, was the last holder of the name. She saw service in the Suez Crisis before being modified to a pure helicopter commando carrier in 1959.

  • The Rusty B

    She retired in 1976 after ten commissions, but was brought back to life in 1979 as an anti-submarine warfare carrier – when she lived up to her nickname 'The Rusty B', affectionately coined from her motto 'Under thy wings I will (t)rust'.

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