HMS Bulwark

HMS Bulwark (L15)

HMS Bulwark (L15) is able to flex her amphibious muscle to respond quickly to any crisis and world events.

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2016 was a busy year for HMS Bulwark as took part in Joint Warrior and was involved in the Royal Navy’s Joint Expeditionary Force (Maritime) (JEF(M)) Task Group in the Middle East and Mediterranean.

Remaining ready for any contingency, the JEF(M) task group took part in amphibious exercises off Albania and Egypt before heading through the Suez Canal and conducting further exercises in Oman. HMS Bulwark then spent a short period training the Somaliland Coastguard, before returning home in December (in time for Christmas) via Haifa in Israel, where she hosted senior dignitaries from the Israeli government and Armed Forces.

In the course of the deployment, the crew ate their way through 20 tonnes of potatoes and 3 tonnes of baked beans, and drunk tea from 23,000 tea bags.

HMS Bulwark has now steamed nearly a quarter of a million nautical miles since entering service in 2004.

Royal Navy’s amphibious force comes of age


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Current operation Alongside in Devonport

Currently alongside in her home port of Devonport Naval Base.

  • Saif Sareea 3

  • Maritime security

    British ships and units, which include the Royal Marines, are committed to operations around the world. Operations focus on maritime security, reassurance and wider regional engagement to build regional maritime capability.

Location Plymouth

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Unit History

The First Bulwark1777

The current assault ship is the seventh RN warship to bear the name in a history that stretches back to 1777 but despite her naming, the keel was never laid and she was later cancelled.

The Second Bulwark1807

The second Bulwark made it through build and was launched in April 1807, and served for almost two decades, seeing service in the American War of 1814-15. She was broken up in 1825.

The Third Bulwark1859

The next Bulwark suffered a similar fate to the first – laid down in 1859, her build was put on hold, and she lay dry until being dismantled in 1872.

The Fourth Bulwark1860

The fourth, a wooden first-rate 121-gun battleship, made it to launch in 1860, notched up her steam trials in 1861, but was never completed for sea.

The Fifth Bulwark1899

The fifth, a 15,000-ton twin-screw battleship, was launched at Devonport in 1899, and claims the Antarctic explorer Capt Robert Falcon Scott as one of her commanding officers.


She also suffered an ill-fated end off Sheerness in November 1914 – while loading on ammunition an internal explosion tore the heart of the ship apart, killing all but 12 of the 750 ship’s company.

The Sixth Bulwark1948

The 22,000-ton light fleet carrier, launched in June 1948, was the last holder of the name. She saw service in the Suez Crisis before being modified to a pure helicopter commando carrier in 1959.

The Rusty B1976

She retired in 1976 , but returned in 1979 as an anti-submarine warfare carrier – living up to her nickname 'The Rusty B', drawn from her motto 'Under thy wings I will (t)rust'.

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Commanding Officer Neil Sandle

Rank: Lieutenant Commander

Lieutenant Commander Neil Sandle joined the Royal Navy in 1990, he assumed command of HMS Bulwark June 2018

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HMS Bulwark can carry 256 troops, with their vehicles and combat supplies.

HMNB Devonport

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