Royal Navy flag ship faces tough test off coast of Cornwall
11:00am Monday 25th February 2013 in Falmouth/Penryn
The Royal Navy’s flagship HMS Bulwark has started five weeks of intensive training which will test every nut and bolt of the 18,000-tonne assault ship – and the 350 men and women aboard her.
The ship, which will be seen off the south coast of Cornwall, is undergoing exhaustive trials and training overseen by a team from FOST (Flag Officer Sea Training) in order to prepare her for all eventualities as the UK’s on-call assault ship.
A team of 100 expert Royal Navy inspectors and assessors are joining the ship in Devonport.
They are giving the flagship what is known as Directed Continuation Training, which is training unique to the ship and her mission – in HMS Bulwark’s case the ability to put more than 700 Royal Marines with all their kit ashore, and bring them back again if required.
In addition to testing the flagship’s amphibious capability, the FOST inspectors will also test and assess every aspect of HMS Bulwark’s fighting ability – warfare against surface, submarine and air attack, the ship’s ability to command a task group, disaster relief missions and the large-scale evacuation of at risk civilians such as those the Royal Navy has conducted in the Lebanon and Libya in recent years.