The Royal Navy warship HMS Albion welcomed her new captain – all while preparing to move from a docks basin to the river in Plymouth.
Captain Tim Neild assumed command of the amphibious ship in HM Naval Base, Devonport, and addressed his crew en-masse. He said: “It’s an enormous privilege to be captain of the UK’s high-readiness amphibious capability and lead a team of such highly professional sailors and Royal Marines.’’
Captain Neild joined the Royal Navy 25 years ago and has been at the forefront of UK Naval operations. He has commanded warships at every level ranging from patrol vessels and minehunters to frigates, as well as holding senior staff positions in the Amphibious Task Group and Naval Command Heaquarters in Portsmouth.
The new captain and his crew now ensure the ship emerges successfully from her two years of a complex refit and four years in extended readiness. The next phase will be operational training under the staff of Flag Officer Sea Training ahead of re-entering operational service with the fleet in 2018.
The date of his supersession almost coincides with the date HMS Albion was launched from Barrow-in-Furness by her Lady Sponsor, the Princess Royal, 16 years ago on the 9 March 2001.
HMS Albion is now preparing to move from the basin to her new tidal home. This will be a complex task involving a large number of personnel from the ship’s staff, contractors and Devonport harbour authorities as the ship is towed by tugs out of the basin onto the river at high tide.