The British Navy’s HMS Ocean will be coming to Lebanon next week, according to a statement issued by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The HMS Ocean’s visit to the Port of Beirut will mark the end of its deployment in the Middle East. The ship will host events designed to highlight the partnership between the United Kingdom and Lebanon. HMS Ocean left the United Kingdom last September. It served as part of the Combined Task Force 50 which, according to the statement, is a:
Multi-national maintaining the free flow of trade, freedom of navigation for shipping and regional security in the Middle East
The British Ambassador to Lebanon, Hugo Shorter, said:
We are very excited by the arrival of HMS Ocean, the Fleet flagship of the Royal Navy. We remain steadfast in our commitment to Lebanon’s stability, and it’s due to our strong belief in the importance of Lebanese sovereignty that we have focused our support through state institutions like the Lebanese Armed Forces and the Internal Security Forces.
The HMS Ocean is an amphibious assault ship, the UK’s helicopter carrier and the fleet flagship of the Royal Navy. It weighs 21,500 tons and is 203 meters in length. It can carry up to 18 helicopters at once.