HMS Bulwark celebrates her 11th Birthday

Fleet amphibious flagship HMS Bulwark recently celebrated the 11th anniversary of her first commissioning as a Royal Navy warship.

The 18,500 tonne HMS Bulwark is the seventh ship of the name and was launched at Barrow in November 2001 by Lady Walker, wife of the then Chief of Defence Staff, subsequently ennobled and promoted as Field Marshal the Lord Walker. 

HMS Bulwark was commissioned on 28 April 2005 and since then has served as the Fleet Flagship and deployed on operations in the Gulf, off Libya, in the Baltic, and most recently in the Mediterranean.

In her life, HMS Bulwark has steamed 230,000 miles, the equivalent of 11 times around the world and is the current holder of both the Fleet Effectiveness Trophy for best capital ship, and the Desmond Wettern Fleet Trophy for portraying the best image of the Royal Navy.  

Bulwark has always been a happy ship with a fantastic spirit on-board – I can’t wait to see how the next 11 years go.

Petty Officer Simon Fryer

The ship is the  only warship to have ever won the Sun Military Award for “Best Unit in Defence.”

The Captain, Captain James Parkin, said, “HMS Bulwark has never been in better shape, or better trained, as she is now. 

“As the tenth Captain, I pay tribute not only to my current 400 officers, sailors and marines, but all my predecessors, and everyone who has ever served in her, on operations worldwide, who has made her the ship she is today. 

“With decades more service to come, I am honoured to be able to wish this mighty vessel many happy returns. 

“Happy Birthday Bulwark!”

Petty Officer Simon Fryer, who was on-board as an Able Seaman when the ship commissioned said, “Bulwark has always been a happy ship with a fantastic spirit on-board – I can’t wait to see how the next 11 years go.”

HMS Bulwark is fresh from Exercise “Griffin Strike” which lasted for nearly two weeks and culminated off South Wales with coordinated beach assaults by sea and air from the Royal Marines, working with helicopters and aircraft of all three of the Armed Services, and subsequently linking up with a considerable number of UK and French land forces.

Paying a routine visit to Glasgow last weekend, HMS Bulwark will then continue her busy programme of operations and training in North West European waters and - after a brief maintenance period - will lead the Royal Navy’s Joint Expeditionary Force (Maritime) deployment later in the year.