The Royal Navy has deployed the amphibious assault vessel HMS Albion to the Pacific in support of UN sanctions on North Korean shipping, making her Britain’s third vessel assigned to the mission.
The frigate HMS Sutherland is already in the area, having docked at the Japanese port of Yokosuka on 11th April to prepare for patrols in the area.
A second frigate, HMS Argyll is also due to join the effort.
“Our armed forces are at the forefront of Global Britain and the deployment of HMS Albion, Sutherland and Argyll demonstrates our unwavering commitment to our international responsibilities and to maintaining peace, security and prosperity in the region”, said Gavin Williamson, the defence secretary, to mark HMS Sutherland’s arrival in Japan. (Telegraph)
This represents two significant developments:
- The operationalization of defence cooperation agreements built between the UK and Japan over the past decade.
- The capacity and political will of the UK to commit the Royal Navy in a virtually continuous presence in the Asia-Pacific proves that it remains one of very few nations with global maritime reach and influence.
Submarines – or perhaps they are already there?
If you are going to have a continuous at-sea presence in the region, why not go the extra step and have a RN vessel home-port in Japan permanently?