It was a real pleasure to host Admiral Apostolakis and his Team.

Commander Nick Walker

The Cougar 13 deployment will operate in the Mediterranean, Red Sea, Arabian Gulf, and Horn of Africa.

It involves exercising with partner nations, and will show the UK Armed Forces’ capacity to project an effective maritime component anywhere in the world as part of the Royal Navy’s Response Force Task Group, commanded by Commodore Paddy McAlpine OBE ADC Royal Navy.

The RFTG is the United Kingdom’s high readiness maritime force, made up of ships, submarines, aircraft and a landing force of Royal Marines, at five days notice to act in response to any contingency tasking including humanitarian disaster relief or international military intervention.

HMS Illustrious the Portsmouth based amphibious helicopter and commando carrier is part of the Royal Navy’s Response Force Task Group and deployed with the Cougar 13 Task Group.

The Cougar 13 Task Group is a versatile, flexible and scalable force at very high readiness prepared to react to any contingency as directed by Ministers, and will undertake international engagement and bilateral training with strategic partners throughout the Mediterranean and Arabian Gulf region.