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TAURUS 09 Ships Sail Into Malta and Naples

HMS Bulwark enters Valletta
HMS Bulwark with HMS Argyll, HMS Somerset and FNS Dupleix berthed in background in Grand Harbour, Valletta
HMS Ocean sails into Naples

Sailors from the TAURUS 09 ships have been enjoying their first port visits of the deployment, with stand downs in Malta and Naples.

HMS Bulwark led HMS Argyll, HMS Somerset and FNS Dupleix in through the spectacular Grand Harbour in Valletta, Malta for a four day visit, which began with a well-attended reception for local dignitaries and friends of the Royal Navy. Sailors have been enjoying many sporting activities including rugby, horse riding, kayaking and cricket, as well as having the opportunity to explore this beautiful island.

Speaking as his Flagship, HMS Bulwark sailed into harbour, Commodore Peter Hudson CBE ADC, Commander UK Amphibious Task Group, said:

“It is a real privilege for me to bring my Task Group into Grand Harbour in Malta, a place where the Royal Navy has such strong historic and cultural links.  The UK has a very special relationship with Malta which I know visits like this help reinforce, we are partners in the EU and share common goals in through defence diplomacy.  All the sailors, marines and airmen onboard the ships are looking to enjoying the wonderful friendship and warm hospitality that gives Malta such a brilliant reputation”

During their stay, sailors from HMS Bulwark played host to members of Malta Sea Cadets who were presented with two dinghies, a gift from Weymouth Sea Cadets. Around 200 Malta Scouts and their families also came onboard for a tour. Sailors also volunteered to carry out maintenance work at the Park for Friendship (Razzett tal Hbiberija) and Birdlife Malta.

HMS Ocean meanwhile has been visiting Italian colleagues in Naples where her sailors took the opportunity to take cultural tours of Pompeii, Herculaneum, Mt Vesuvius and Rome.  Some even managed to hit the slopes in Rocarosso!

The ships will sail from Malta and Naples to meet up once more in the Mediterranean for exercises in amphibious and anti-submarine warfare, before moving on through the Suez Canal and out to the Far East.