RFA Lyme Bay in Falmouth for Christmas

Falmouth Packet: RFA Lyme Bay in Falmouth for Christmas RFA Lyme Bay in Falmouth for Christmas

RFA Lyme Bay, one of the four Cluster ships assigned to Falmouth, is expected to berth next week after returning from her deployment to the Middle East as part of the Cougar 2013 Response Force Task Group (RFTG).

The ship will spend the Christmas period alongside at the docks.

The RFTG has the capability to conduct a range of operations, from maritime security and deterring adversaries, to international engagement and supporting regional stability.

After two months, the ship successfully “re-rolled” her capability from RFTG amphibious landing operations to conduct counter piracy patrols and regional maritime capacity building with the EU Naval Force.

This is the first time that a Landing Ship Dock (Auxiliary) has conducted this type of tasking.

Prior to commencing her counter piracy operations, RFA Lyme Bay was augmented with boarding teams from the Fleet Contingency Troop and Royal Marines from 42 Commando. She also embarked a Lynx Mark 8 helicopter and a Marine Sniper Team.

After a short period of integration training, RFA Lyme Bay began EU counter piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden in October. During her four-week patrol, Lyme Bay’s boarding teams conducted 11 friendly approaches with local seafarers and performed numerous intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions as tasked by the Force Commander embarked in the EU Naval Force flagship.

Speaking about the ship’s time with Operation Atalanta, her Commanding Officer, Captain Simon Herbert RFA, said: “This has been a short, albeit productive, time with EU Naval Force, where we played a vital role in the deterrence of piracy and in supporting the EU’s wider comprehensive approach to maritime capacity building.

“We have played a key part in helping to stabilise the region and the establishment of rule of law, both of which are central to the UK’s national security interests.”

EU Naval Force deters, prevents and represses acts of piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia and protects World Food Programme vessels delivering aid to Somalia.

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