HMS Ocean assumes NATO flagship role in the Mediterranean

The Royal Navy’s Fleet Flagship, HMS Ocean, today assumed the role of flagship for NATO’s Standing Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) in the Mediterranean.

The commander of SNMG2, Commodore James Morley Royal Navy, and his staff transferred from the Type 45 destroyer HMS Diamond, which had previously been the SNMG2 flagship, to HMS Ocean alongside Souda Bay in Crete. 

HMS Ocean has taken up the role following her participation in Operation Ruman; the British Government's humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operation in the Caribbean following the devastating hurricanes in September.

HMS Ocean will be operating alongside maritime and aviation units from numerous NATO nations including Turkey and Greece.  

Over the coming months SNMG2 will host a number of multi-national exercises aimed aimed at honing the abilities of these nations to work together in support of amphibious operations.

 


HMS Ocean is an incredibly capable amphibious and command platform and represents a significant UK contribution to NATO’s efforts to maintain security in the Mediterranean region

Captain Robert Pedre, Commanding Officer of HMS Ocean

The fact that HMS Ocean is herself a large and highly capable amphibious ship will allow her to make a significant contribution to the exercise programme; she will host Royal Marines from 40 Commando, US Marines and helicopters from 820, 845 and 847 Naval Air Squadrons based in Culdrose and Yeovilton.  

SNMG2 also fulfils a vital contingency role in the Mediterranean region; through the maintenance of postured maritime forces the group is able to protect UK and NATO collective interests, promote security and project military power if necessary.  

Ultimately, SNMG2 offers up potential military options for NATO and the UK to deal with a security emergency should one occur.

The Commanding Officer of HMS Ocean, Captain Robert Pedre, said, “My Ship’s Company are proud to have assumed the role of a NATO Flagship.  HMS Ocean is an incredibly capable amphibious and command platform and represents a significant UK contribution to NATO’s efforts to maintain security in the Mediterranean region.”

HMS Ocean’s appointment as the Flagship for NATO’s SNMG2 deployment is indicative of the UK’s strong and ongoing commitment to NATO as a key tenet of UK Defence and the collective defence of our allies.