The SD Victoria entered Holyhead Harbor in Anglesey, North Wales on Sunday, but today was back in the Irish Sea. SD Victoria is operated by Hampshire-based Serco Marine Services as a training and support vessel for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines. It has long been linked to the Special Boat Service (SBS) and has been pictured carrying Inflatable Raid Craft (IRC) as well as SBS “stealth boats”.
The vessel is currently the second largest vessel in Serco’s fleet of 100 vessels.
The company declined to explain what it was doing off Anglesey. “We cannot comment on operational details,” a spokesperson said.
However, there is speculation that he is involved in Exercise Chameleon, a bi-annual special forces training operation. The Ministry of Defense has confirmed it is carrying out round-the-clock flying missions across much of the UK as part of Chameleon, including in the skies over Gwynedd, Powys and “Clwyd”.
The round-the-clock training exercise ends on September 16, NorthWalesLive Reports. It is said to include the use of Hercules aircraft to drop items and supplies onto ships.
Boat spotters have spotted the SD Victoria off the northwest coast of Anglesey on several occasions in recent weeks.
One person got a grandstand view of military-style activities as they walked along the coast. “We saw one of their ribs being winched aboard (the SD Victoria),” she said. “Staff were all wearing combat and bulletproof vests.
“The grandson was fascinated. There was a cruise ship just offshore and we figured they had something to do with it.
The 83 meter SD Victoria was built in Romania as a platform for special forces operations. It is equipped with classrooms, briefing and operations rooms and a winch bridge for helicopters.
With a top speed of 16 knots, the vessel can accommodate 88 crew members and stay at sea for 46 days.
She can carry rigid inflatable boats and has been seen with a pair of SBS stealth boats which are said to be capable of 60 knots.