A SAILOR from Branston has been playing his role in one of the Armed Forces biggest exercises.
Cougar 13 tests the capability of the maritime Response Force Task Group (RFTG) with several Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships taking part in exercises across the Mediterranean and into the Gulf.
Albanian Lion is the first of several high octane exercises and takes place around the Albanian city of Vlore where Royal Marines will land and move inland through a fictional hostile state.
For an operation of this nature to be successful, teamwork is vital and playing his role in the exercise is Able Rate (Writer) Grant Clissold, who works in the ships office on the HMS Illustrious.
The 29-year-old, from Branston, who attended John Taylor High School, joined the navy three-and-a-half years ago and the keen sportsman is a member of the Royal Navy basketball team.
He said: “I was drawn to the navy as the senior service and the opportunities it presented to travel further and balance it with my love of sport.
“However, at the back of my mind there was always the fact that I would be joining an organisation that is there to defend our nation and help others.
“Taking part in exercises like Albanian Lion and Cougar 13 can be busy because of all the logistics involved, but it keeps us all on our toes and well trained should we ever be called to help in a real life crisis.”
Cougar 13 is a long planned Royal Navy exercise that sees the UK’s Response Force Task Group – formed under the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review – honing its maritime skills thousands of miles from home through exercises with key allies.
Four Royal Navy ships and five Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels are taking part along with Royal Marines embarked in HMS Bulwark, RFA Mounts Bay and RFA Lyme Bay as well as numerous Army Commandos.