London 2012: HMS Ocean on Newham’s waterfront in security exercise

Picture Exclusive: HMS Ocean on Newham’s waterfront.

The Royal Navy’s biggest ship HMS Ocean was seen travelling along Newham’s waterfront today before she docked in Greenwich to start ten days of exercises ahead of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Recorder photographer Steve Poston captured this shot of HMS Ocean, an aircraft carrier which will be stationed at Greenwich throughout the Games.

She will act as a launch pad for eight Lynx helicopters and a base for Royal Marine snipers. It is the final phase of the exercise named Olympic Guardian, which began earlier this week in Weymouth and in the airspace over the capital.

Captain Andrew Betton said the ship would provide vital assistance in stopping potential threats on the river.

“The versatility and manoeuvrability of helicopters allows them to get to the scene of action very swiftly to identify and to divert any surface vessels that are heading up the Thames, to ascertain their intentions and if necessary take action,” he said

She will be home to its 440-strong crew as well as around 400 other military personnel.

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Secretary of State for Defence Phillip Hammond said: “There are no specific threats to the Games. I hope if any do emerge I hope the sight of this ship will reassure people we can deal with them.”