HMS Buwark was presented with the prestigious Royal Navy Capital Ship Efficiency Award four years in a row
A Plymouth-based warship facing the axe was ranked the Royal Navy’s most efficient vessel – four years in a row.
Defence chiefs are considering removing the two Devonport-based amphibious assault shops, HMS Bulwark and HMS Albion, from service in a bid to cut costs.
Migrants disembark in the port of Taranto, southern Italy, after being rescued at sea by British ship HMS Bulwark
It’s reported that scrapping to the two ships would free up sailors to man the new Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers, which are based in Portsmouth.
In 2016, Bulwark was presented with the prestigious Royal Navy Capital Ship Efficiency Award for the fourth year running.
The Royal Navy says Surface Flotilla Effectiveness Trophies are awarded annually to ships or other units in recognition of “achievement of excellence”.
The award is presented annually to the Capital Ship that has made a "consistent and outstanding contribution in the execution of her tasking and shown the highest standards of effectiveness in the course of her duties throughout the year".
The Royal Navy rescued more than 1,000 people off the coast of Libya, making it HMS Bulwark's "largest operation to date" (Image: Rowan Griffiths/Daily Mirror/PA Wire)
Upon receiving the award last year, Captain James Parkin, the captain of HMS Bulwark said: "The Fleet Effectiveness Trophies are the only way for the Royal Navy to announce formally which ships have been assessed as the very best in the fleet.
"For HMS Bulwark to win this coveted annual prize is testament to the hard work and dedication of the hundreds of sailors and marines who have served in this amazing ship over the past 12 months, protecting our nation's interests in home waters, and across the globe.
"I am utterly proud of, and profoundly humbled by, this fine body of men and women - and supremely grateful for the support of their families too."
In 2015, HMS Bulwark and her crew helped rescue hundreds of migrants from the Medeterranean.
And 2016 was another busy year for HMS Bulwark as she 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.
Source: Plymouth Herald. 25 December 2017