HMS Bulwark and three Merlin helicopters are now ready to operate in the Mediterranean, working closely with the Italian Navy, and coordinated via Rome.
The 19,000 tonne amphibious ship will work in tandem with the surveillance helicopters to provide a wide ranging search and rescue capability.
The aircraft, from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, are currently stationed at the Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily, to be called upon when needed by the Italian coastguard. Supported by over 80 UK personnel, including air and ground crew, they have commenced their first training sortie, to familiarise themselves with the area. From Tuesday, they will also begin flying operations with HMS Bulwark.
You can find more on last month’s announcement here