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Ancient Aegean Port Of Izmir Hosts Mighty 'O'

Sea king Embarking Troops
Merlin Lifting At Sunset
Landing Craft

HMS Ocean’s crew have been taking a well earned break this week in the ancient Aegean port of Izmir following completion of an intensive 2 week Amphibious Exercise off the coast of Turkey.

During Exercise EGEMEN, which marks the culmination of the Mediterranean phase of the TAURUS 09 deployment, 40 Commando Royal Marines conducted a large night-time amphibious assault on the Turkish coast alongside Turkish and Dutch allies.  The troops and their supplies were moved ashore by helicopters and landing craft operating from HMS Ocean. The aircraft included Sea Kings from RNAS Yeovilton, Merlin from RNAS Culdrose and Chinooks from RAF Odiham.  This exercise is the very last point in the ship’s long process of regeneration which started last July when the ship’s company moved onboard for the first time after the upkeep period. HMS Ocean is now formally at very high readiness for contingent operations anywhere in the world.
In need of a little rest and recuperation, since arriving in Izmir the Ship's Company have had plenty of opportunity to take in the sights and sounds of Turkey's third largest city.  This includes shopping in the Kemeralti Bazaar, where you can find an amazing array of carpets and leather goods, to having a drink in one of the many sea front bars.  A large number of the crew also took the opportunity to take in some of the cultural sights, including an organised trip to visit the first world war battlefields and cemeteries at Gallipoli and the ancient ruins of Troy which proved very popular.

So, with the crew now refreshed and ready to return to sea, all eyes are looking east as Ocean prepares to leave the Mediterranean and proceed on to the next phase of her deployment.