The Royal Navy's amphibious helicopter carrier HMS Ocean has arrived in Rio de Janeiro today, Thursday 9 September, to take part in an amphibious exercise with the Brazilian Navy and Marines and to conduct high profile diplomatic engagements.
Brazilian Marines from the 3rd infantry battalion of the 1st Amphibious Division will join HMS Ocean and the Royal Marines of 539 Assault Squadron for a three-day training exercise.
They will be practising amphibious drills and sharing experiences from recent operations. Meanwhile, sailors from the Brazilian warship Rio de Janeiro will also embark onboard HMS Ocean to build understanding and co-operation between the two navies.
HMS Ocean will then return to Rio de Janeiro to host a UK Trade and Industry exhibition, a reception for local dignitaries and a bilateral security seminar culminating in the signing of a UK/Brazil Defence Co-operation Agreement and a formal dinner for 150 guests onboard.
The seminar will be attended by Gerald Howarth, the British Minister for International Security Strategy, who will sign the agreement on behalf of the British Government and host the dinner. During the week in Rio sailors and Royal Marines from the ship will help with community projects.
Captain Keith Blount, HMS Ocean’s Commanding Officer, said:
This visit to Rio is very important for the Royal Navy and we are extremely proud to be working alongside the Brazilian Navy and Marines, enhancing our ability to operate together anywhere in the world while also demonstrating the UK’s commitment to the region.
Our ability to engage and work with other navies and maritime agencies worldwide is an essential part of what navies do and is vital in conflict prevention and building trust.
We are looking forward to supporting Britain’s Trade and Industry exhibition and feel privileged to be hosting such an important security seminar and dinner. And, of course, our sailors are absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to visit such a wonderful city.
HMS Ocean’s versatility has been fully exploited since leaving the UK three months ago. The ship has just completed a maritime and security patrol in the Caribbean after a major exercise with the US Navy off North Carolina.