HMS Ocean Arrives for Olympics
HMS Ocean Begins Olympic Role With Impressive Rings Display
THE SECURITY arrangements for this summer’s Olympic Games received a massive boost today when the country’s largest warship took up her station on the Thames… whilst her crew formed the iconic Olympic Rings on her flight deck.
The amphibious helicopter carrier HMS Ocean arrived in Greenwich, from where she will act as a helicopter launch pad as well as a logistics and support hub for the Olympic security effort, on Friday 13 July. As well as her normal crew and air group, she will also accommodate some 400 military personnel of the Venue Security Force drawn from across the Armed Services.
A mix of Royal Navy and Army Air Corps Lynx helicopters will be ready at short notice to launch from the ship’s flight deck to support the Police by providing airborne and maritime security for the Games.
As Ocean turned on the river near the O2 Arena, 150 members of the ship’s company recreated the Olympic symbol on her flight deck to mark the start of her Olympic deployment.
“It’s great to be back in London, ready to provide support to the Olympic security effort,” said Ocean’s Commanding Officer, Captain Andrew Betton. “We had a wonderful reception when we were here in May for the pre-Olympic training exercises and we’re now delighted to return to be part of the Games themselves.”
HMS Ocean played a key role in support of the UN Security Council Resolution in Libya last year, acting as the base for the Army’s Apache attack helicopters and Royal Navy Sea King surveillance helicopters.
In her normal role as an amphibious assault ship, HMS Ocean is designed to deliver Royal Marine Commandos to the centre of the action by helicopter or by landing craft. Her flight deck is capable of launching six helicopters simultaneously and her hangar is large enough to hold many more. She also carries four landing craft, used to shuttle troops, equipment and vehicles from the ship to the shore. However, her versatility makes her the ideal choice for more unusual operations such as providing security for the Olympics.
Captain Betton said: “HMS Ocean is designed to perform a wide range of different tasks, and whilst the Thames presents an unusual operating environment, the facilities and capabilities that the ship will be providing are ideally suited for our role in support of the Police for the Olympic security plan.”