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20th September 2020, 12:22

Task Force of 3 Royal Navy warships on the Rock-HMS Albion crew in quarantine

Published by GBC News

The Naval Base is to have a busy few days with three visiting ships. The Flagship, HMS Albion, accompanied by HMS Dragon and RFA Lyme Bay arrived on Sunday for programmed logistics support.

Last week, HMS Albion was the second British warship to experience an outbreak of the Coronavirus on board with sailors having to quarantine at sea. There had earlier been a minor outbreak on the Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier.

In answer to GBC questions, a spokesman for the MOD on the Rock confirmed that as part of HMS Albion’s preparation for sailing the crew was tested for Covid and a number of personnel tested positive. He adds, those affected were landed and are working with the NHS Test and Trace system to ensure the virus does not spread further. The remaining crew are following appropriate health guidelines and will continue to quarantine until safe to deploy.

The Task Group, with over 1,000 sailors and Royal Marines onboard, left the UK last week for a 3-month Littoral Response Group (Experimentation) (LRG(X)) deployment, operating in the Mediterranean Sea.

The ships will test the new concepts of the Littoral Strike Group, which replaces the UK’s long-standing Amphibious Task Group, and will shape the Future Commando Force (FCF) – the evolution of the Royal Marines into a hi-tech raiding and strike force – both of which, the MOD says, are at the heart of the transformation of the Royal Navy.

The task group will also support NATO’s Mediterranean security operation Sea Guardian and conduct exercises in Cyprus.

Training exercises will take place on and around the MOD estate over the next two days. Exercising troops will be in full uniform with weapons and the public is asked not to be alarmed. No blank firing will be conducted off the MOD estate. There will also be increased helicopter activity during this period.