The British Royal Navy’s Albion-class amphibious assault ship HMS Albion has begun its one-and-a-half month intensive amphibious training programme.
HMS Albion’s amphibious tests will form part of the vessel’s operational sea training (OST) package, which are intended to help the ship be capable of operating wherever it is deployed.
The 19,500t navy ship returned to sea three days earlier than originally planned following an extensive two-year refit period.
The OST follows HMS Albion’s formal return to the navy from the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) industrial partner Babcock, which was responsible for the vessel’s £90m refurbishment programme.
HMS Albion was mothballed for four years following the 2010 defence review and is now receiving further upgrades.
The vessel’s regeneration over the past three years has also demonstrated the effective cooperation between the Royal Navy, the MoD and the UK’s maritime industry.
Devonport Flotilla commodore Rob Bellfield said: “With a strong command lead and an extremely enthusiastic and engaging ships company, the ship is immaculate, which is indicative of the ship’s company’s collective pride.”
The ship successfully completed its sea trials in September.
HMS Albion had previously regularly participated in the navy’s ‘Thursday War’ training exercises off the shore of Plymouth, including damage control training.
In addition, bomb disposal experts from Plymouth’s Southern Diving Unit scoured the vessel from keel to the main mast as part of a terrorism-related homemade bomb training exercise, while Devon and Somerset fire and rescue teams practised evacuating casualties from on-board the ship.
HMS Albion’s crew also joined the affiliated army, the Queen’s Own Yeomanry (QOY), on their annual live firing exercise on the Yorkshire Moors.