STRIKEFORNATO staff consider using HMS Bulwark as alternative command platform

STRIKFORNATO is the Alliance’s primary battle staff for integrating US maritime forces into NATO operations and replaced the old STRIKFORSOUTH (est. 1952) in 2004. The current command platform is the US Navy Blue Ridge-class amphibious command ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC-20). Utilizing HMS Bulwark (L15) as an alternative command platform would ensure operational flexibility for NATO’s maritime operations.

NATO staff take tour of HMS Bulwark

The Commander of Naval Striking and Support Forces at NATO (STRIKFORNATO), Vice Admiral Frank Pandolfe USN, has paid a visit to the Royal Navy’s Fleet Flagship HMS Bulwark. VAdm Pandolfe took the opportunity to visit the ship while she was alongside in Lisbon as part of a multi-national exercised called Cougar 13.

The Commander of Naval Striking and Support Forces at NATO, Vice Admiral Frank Pandolfe USN, has paid a visit to the Royal Navy’s Fleet Flagship HMS Bulwark. Pictured: (L-R) Captain Burns HMS Bulwark Commanding Officer, RAdm Lowe Royal Navy (RN), VAdm Pandolfe United States Navy and Commodore McAlpine Commander United Kingdom Task Group. Photo by L(Phot) Arron Hoare

The aim of the visit was to evaluate the use of HMS Bulwark as a future Alternative Command Platform (ACP) to the current platform of choice – the USS Mount Whitney.

STRIKFORNATO is NATO’s premier Maritime Battlestaff and the Alliance’s primary link for integrating US Maritime Forces into NATO operations.

Managed by a Memorandum of Understanding comprising 11 nations, STRIKFORNATO is a rapidly deployable, maritime headquarters that provides command and control across the full spectrum of security tasking.

As part of on going contingency planning, the staff of STRIKFORNATO are visiting as many potential ACPs as they can when the opportunity arises.

HMS Bulwark is deployed for four months on Cougar 13 as part of the Royal Navy’s Response Force Task Group (RFTG) along with three other warships – HMS Illustrious, HMS Westminster and HMS Montrose.

The Commander of Naval Striking and Support Forces at NATO, Vice Admiral Frank Pandolfe USN, has paid a visit to the Royal Navy’s Fleet Flagship HMS Bulwark. Pictured: HMS Bulwark leaving Plymouth. Photo by LA(Phot) Ben Shread

Captain Andrew Burns Royal Navy, Commanding Officer HMS Bulwark said:

“One of the main roles of the Fleet Flagship is command and control due to HMS Bulwark’s advanced communications suite and capacity to accommodate large numbers of personnel.

“It is therefore a privilege and delight to show the STRIKFORNATO team our facilities because it helps both of us prepare for potential contingent operations where we could be working together.”

STRIKFORNATO and the RFTG were involved in NATO Operation Unified Protector in 2011, protecting Libyan civilians from attack, and threat of attack from pro-Colonel Gadaffi supporters.

The Cougar 13 deployment will operate in the Mediterranean, Red Sea, the Gulf, and Horn of Africa.

It involves exercising with partner nations, and will show the UK Armed Forces’ capacity to project an effective maritime component anywhere in the world.

The Commander of Naval Striking and Support Forces at NATO, Vice Admiral Frank Pandolfe USN, has paid a visit to the Royal Navy’s Fleet Flagship HMS Bulwark. Pictured: members of Naval Striking and Support Forces at NATO are shown around HMS Bulwark by the Ship’s Company. Photo by L(Phot) Arron Hoare

www.royalnavy.mod.uk/News-and-Events/Latest-News/2013/August/28/130828-NATO-HMS-Bulwark

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s