A major Royal Navy Task Force will be sailing into the Mediterranean to carry out a whole series of exercises with NATO partners including Spain.

The four ship force consists of the amphibious assault ship, Albion, the state-of-the-art destroyer, Defender, the helicopter carrier Argos and the amphibious auxiliary, Mounts Bay. Embarked on the vessels are a large number of Royal Marine Commandos.

The force has been gathering at Gibraltar and at the Spanish Naval base at Rota. The group of warships forms part of the Royal Navy´s Littoral Response Groups.

Eeventually there will be two Littoral Response Groups regularly deployed in regions of strategic importance to the UK, one with a focus on European waters and the other looking to the east and south of the Suez Canal.

They are designed to put the UK’s commando forces in forward positions, where they will be able to react quickly to any crises but also continually work with allies.

The Royal Navy say that this is part of the Future Commando Force modernisation, which returns Royal Marines to raiders from the sea, equips them for a new era of combat and places them in forward positions important to UK security.