Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Royal Marines launch 'assault' from HMS Queen Elizabeth

via Royal Navy News.
A troop of Royal Marines from 42 Commando in Plymouth has embarked in the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier to prove the process of launching them by helicopter to conduct operations ashore.

Marines from Lima Company and supporting elements from HMS Queen Elizabeth’s Ship’s Company have been called to ‘Assault Stations’ for the very first time, on exercise.

The troops were processed from their accommodation, through the ship, collecting kit, including weapons and ammunition in a carefully orchestrated process, in through the massive hangar and onto the flight deck to simulate being launched ashore by helicopter.

The Royal Navy’s amphibious assault capability has to now been provided by assault ships HMS Bulwark and Albion and the Landing Platform Helicopter (LPH), HMS Ocean.

Whilst HMS Queen Elizabeth does not have the surface assault capability with landing craft of the specialist ships, her four-acre flight deck provides plenty of scope from which to project manpower and equipment ashore using the variety of helicopters she will be able to host.
Hmm.  This wasn't widely broadcast and for good reason.  While an admirable capability and one that will serve the Brits and coalition well, its also a source of much criticism.

Many mock the Queen Elizabeth as the world's biggest helicopter carrier.  The fact that it can serve in that world is NOT necessarily a bad thing. I remember a US aircraft carrier that had its deck filled with troops from the 101st for disaster relief in Haiti.

A big deck aircraft carrier!

Yeah I screamed at the moon but it was doable.  Maybe not practical for the US considering our force structure but for a smaller Navy with limited assets?

It kinda makes sense.

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