Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Royal Navy Launches Operation Green Eagle

A large amphibious task group from the British Royal Navy will arrive in Freetown this Friday, 13 October 2006. The Amphibious Task Group consists of up to 17 warships and auxiliaries. A small number of ships including the command ship HMS Albion , the destroyer HMS Southampton  and the survey ship HMS Enterprise  will berth at the Queen Elizabeth 2 jetty. The remainder of the ships, including HMS Ocean , the largest ship in the Royal Navy,  will anchor off the Lumley Beach and Aberdeen coasts. The Task Group is coming to Sierra Leone to practice amphibious landings of Royal Marine Commandos by helicopter and landing craft into terrain and to exercise with the Republic of Sierra Leone Forces (RSLAF) in Exercise Green Eagle.  Advance units of Royal Marine engineers and other specialists have been working alongside their counterparts from RSLAF for the past four weeks and have completed a variety of civil activity tasks including the building of two bridges in the Waterloo area. During the exercise period in late October, President Kabbah and other officials will visit HMS Albion  at sea to witness events at first hand accompanied by Ms. Sarah Macintosh, the British High Commissioner.The Task Group is commanded by Commodore Philip Jones ADC Royal Navy who speaking today from HMS ALBION said ‘This exercise is the largest amphibious deployment by the Royal Navy for several years and the coastal regions and jungle of Sierra Leone provide ideal training terrain for our helicopter pilots and Royal Marines. The participation and support of the RSLAF is crucial to its success and we are looking forward to working with them immensely. I am aware of the work of the IMATT and the RSLAF to learn from each other’