Navy on international exercise

The biggest naval deployment for more than a decade is due to be get under way from Plymouth later.

The TAURUS 09 task force, involving 12 ships and 3,300 personnel, will set sail from Devonport naval base.

It will engage in training operations in the Mediterranean before deploying through the Suez Canal and culminating in exercises in the jungles of Brunei.

The six-month operation has taken 18 months to plan and will cover 20,400 miles (32,831km).

‘Routine’ operation

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has described it as a routine deployment of the Royal Navy’s Amphibious Task Group.

The aim is to maintain its fighting capability as well as develop the UK’s capacity to operate with key partners and allies from Nato countries and other nations.