HMS Ocean Arrives at Portsmouth for the Last Time
On Monday, the Royal Navy flagship HMS Ocean sailed into Portsmouth Naval Base for the last time before her decommissioning. She was sold to Brazil last month for $115 million, freeing up operations funding that can be put to use on the service's two new jump-ramp carriers.
“It is fitting that the Fleet Flagship should have this opportunity to bid farewell to the city before decommissioning; a visit that is all the more poignant for the many members of my ship’s company that are privileged to call this historic naval city home," said Commanding Officer Captain Robert Pedre.
HMS Ocean has delivered 20 years of service to the UK. She was commissioned in 1998, and was involved in Operation Palliser during the Sierra Leone civil war in 2000, Operation Telic off the coast of Iraq in 2003, Operation Ellamy as part of an international coalition in Libya in 2011, and most recently the hurricane relief contingent on Operation Ruman in the Caribbean. All told, the ship spent 11 of the last 16 months deployed on operations overseas, during which time she covered almost 50000 miles.
One of HMS Ocean’s final operations mirrored her first role - hurricane relief. In early 1999 HMS Ocean was deployed at short notice to render assistance to Honduras and Nicaragua in the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch. Some 18 years later she did the same across four separate island chains in the Caribbean as part of Operation Ruman.
“HMNB Portsmouth was extremely proud to welcome the Royal Navy’s Fleet Flagship today – as a stalwart of operations in the service for two decades,” said Captain Bill Oliphant, captain of Portsmouth Naval Base. “It was extremely poignant to see her berthed by our new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and making way for a new class."