The Royal Navy’s amphibious flagship HMS Bulwark has been presented with the Royal Navy’s major warship trophy for her performance last year, including rescuing migrants at sea.
The Capital Ships’ Effectiveness Trophy was awarded to the commanding officer Captain James Parkin by Rear Admiral Alex Burton at a ceremony on board at the ship’s base port in Devonport, Plymouth.
The ship searched for and rescued migrants who were lost in the Mediterranean under Operation Weald. The refugees, often in unseaworthy small boats, were given immediate urgent care and assessed for further needs by the warship’s crew and then taken to humanitarian camps ashore.
Captain Parkin said: “I am delighted Rear Admiral Burton could take the time to spend time with my ship’s company and congratulate them on a job very well done in 2015.”
Engineering Technician Tim Liddle, 25, from St Budeaux in Plymouth, said: “Operation Weald was a really worthwhile and demanding time and it’s great that our efforts have been recognised with the trophy.”
The award also marks HMS Bulwark’s role in the poignant 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli Campaign and the amphibious Cougar 2015 deployment to the Mediterranean, which included security support to two high profile international summits in Malta.
HMS Bulwark is in the naval base at Plymouth and will conduct maintenance prior to a varied and exciting programme of exercises and operations through the year.
The ship is one of the Royal Navy’s two amphibious assault command and control ships along with HMS Albion.
She has a crew of 350, a quarter of whom are made up from Royal Marines.
The ship is designed to carry up to 225 marines in dedicated accommodation for long periods and another 500 for short periods.
A large floodable dock holds four large landing craft – with another four carried on the ship’s side. The larger craft can carry up to 120 troops or a battle tank. For the humanitarian mission, they have been loaded with lifejackets, water, food, medical supplies and shelter.
HMS Bulwark is retained at high readiness for contingent operations – whether combat operations, providing humanitarian assistance or disaster relief and remains at five-days notice to deploy worldwide.