Shipping & Shipbuilding News -  14 September 2007 - The Brightest Maritime Daily

HMS Albion conducting pre-wet trials at the end of Danex07 - RN Photo

HMS ALBION in Baltic exercises
DANEX 07 brings together 20 units from five European nations

HMS Albion has just taken part in a multi-national exercise in the Baltic, involving more than 20 units from 5 countries (Denmark, UK, Norway, Germany and Poland). The UK contribution also included a detachment of 2 Lynx Helicopters from 815 Naval Air Squadron. Staged and co-ordinated by the Danish Navy, DANEX 07 provided training in littoral operations, with a particular emphasis on Crisis Reaction Operations. The exercise included a Disaster Relief Operation and Non-Combatant Evacuation Operation (or NEO).

Conducted in the waters of the Kattegat and Skagerrak, the exercise provided some excellent training opportunities for Albion’s sailors and Royal Marines. As a Command and Control platform, and High Readiness LPD, Albion is well practised in heading an amphibious task group. For DANEX, however, the Danish ship HMDS Thetis performed the Command and Control function, whilst Albion provided the platform for the Exercise Directing Staff (DISTAFF) who were responsible for co-ordinating the multi-national exercise.

The exercise also included a realistic disaster relief operation, and Albion was able to demonstrate the remarkable array of capabilities the ship possesses. With Royal Marines from 6 Assault Squadron Royal Marines providing force protection, the landing craft delivered essential support such as hot food and tented shelter, as well as light rescue and heavy rescue teams with firefighting equipment, portable pumps and medical teams.

The disaster scenario, based around a simulated earthquake, provided very realistic training. This included vehicles buried beneath a landslide – with live people inside! Albion’s medical team tended the injuries of a variety of casualties, while the ship’s fire-fighting teams braved temperatures of 400 degrees Celsius. Albion now heads for a short visit to Portsmouth before returning to Plymouth.

Albion’s Commanding Officer, Captain Tim Lowe Royal Navy, said: “DANEX has been an interesting challenge for the ship’s team, and we have greatly enjoyed being back in the Baltic working with our international colleagues. My sailors and Royal Marines were able to participate in bicentennial commemorations in the wonderful city of Copenhagen. All in all it has been a very successful start our Autumn programme.”


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