Gosport faced an unlikely invasion this week as local MP Caroline Dinenage disembarked with the Royal Marines.
As part of the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme (AFPS), Caroline joined the sailors and marines on board HMS Bulwark on Tuesday. Along with seven other Parliamentarians, including Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt, Caroline experienced first-hand the role fulfilled by the vessel and its crew.
The exercises they carried out, which were intended to give MPs an insight into daily life in the Armed Forces, included a full amphibious landing at Gosport and a simulated pirate attack and armed forces response.
Speaking afterwards, Caroline said:
“HMS Bulwark and her crew are a huge asset to the Royal Marines. I was struck by their immense flexibility and ability to react to a multitude of different situations – including a very well-ordered ‘invasion’ of my own constituency of Gosport!”
HMS Bulwark is an Amphibious Assault Ship whose primary function is to transport, deploy and recover troops and vehicles by air and sea. Launched in 2001, she can embark up to 700 troops, six tanks or 30 armoured all-terrain tracked vehicles and boasts a floodable rear well dock, landing craft and two-spot 64m Chinook capable flight deck.