Task group arrives in Gibraltar on first stop of deployment

The Rock is the first stop for Britain’s flagship as HMS Albion led her task group into Gibraltar – and their deployment begins in earnest.

Six days after leaving home waters, the amphibious assault Albion, plus destroyer HMS Dragon and support ship RFA Lyme Bay arrived at the gateway to the Mediterranean.

Covid restrictions are limiting many of the staple fixtures of a visit to the Rock largely to a re-fuel/re-supply stop.

But there will be the opportunity for the Royal Marines to stretch their legs for the first time on this deployment.

Gibraltar Strike includes abseiling from helicopters and urban combat training making use of the facilities/ranges on the Rock as the Royal Marines continue their transition to the Future Commando Force.

Major Andy Lacy, of 42 Commando’s Support Company, said: "Exercise Gibraltar Strike allows us to hone our skills in some excellent training facilities. 42 Commando provides a wide range of specialist support to the Royal Navy.

"This includes Boarding, Maritime Sniper and Force Protection teams, as well as training and advisory teams that are expert in supporting regional partner forces."

Exercise Gibraltar Strike allows us to hone our skills in some excellent training facilities. 42 Commando provides a wide range of specialist support to the Royal Navy. This includes Boarding, Maritime Sniper and Force Protection teams, as well as training and advisory teams that are expert in supporting regional partner forces.

Major Andy Lacy

Commodore Rob Pedre, Commander of the UK’s Littoral Strike Group, added: “Sailing into Gibraltar is a real highlight at the start of our deployment.

“We greatly value the support and welcome that Gibraltar provides, especially as we prepare for wide-ranging operations in the Mediterranean Sea.”

Albion leads the Littoral Response Group (Experimentation) (LRG(X)) which is using the three-month deployment to develop new tactics and try out new technology to help forge the commandos of tomorrow, as well as conducting more traditional exercises and operations.

Upon leaving Gib the group will help NATO’s Operation Sea Guardian, which includes Maritime Security activity within the Mediterranean Sea, and training alongside the UK’s regional partners.