HMS Queen Elizabeth meets US carrier group
With her sea trials in full flow, HMS Queen Elizabeth has met up with some US counterparts off the coast of Scotland.
The Nimitz-class US carrier, USS George HW Bush, and her carrier strike group has more than 60 Royal Navy sailors and Royal Marines on board, working closely with the US personnel to hone carrier strike skills ahead of HMS Queen Elizabeth’s entry into service.
The exercise, which has seen UK staff work with their American counterparts to fight off a series of simulated threats from enemy forces, using all the air, surface and sub-surface assets of the entire task group, is designed to ensure readiness for the UK’s own carrier strike capability.
HMS Queen Elizabeth joined the carrier strike group for a brief period ahead of her much-anticipated first entry into her new home port in Portsmouth, expected to be in just under two weeks.
Captain Jerry Kyd, HMS Queen Elizabeth’s Commanding Officer, said: “The USS George HW Bush battle group is an awesome embodiment of maritime power projection.
“And given that the United Kingdom’s Carrier Strike Group Commander and his staff are embedded on board the US carrier for Saxon Warrior shows the closeness of our relationship with the US Navy and the importance that both nations place on the delivery of the UK’s Carrier Strike programme.
“HMS Queen Elizabeth is at the start of her journey to generate to full warfighting capability, but we are working hard to ready ourselves to take our place in operations and the line of battle alongside our closest allies.”
As well as the USS George HW Bush, the group includes two Portsmouth-based Type 23 frigates, HMS Westminster and HMS Iron Duke, destroyer USS Donald Cook, missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea and the Norwegian frigate HNoMS Helge Ingstad.
Captain Ken Houlberg, Chief of Staff to the Commander of the UK Carrier Strike Group, said: “The US Navy, out of huge generosity, has given us the whole of their carrier strike group so that we can practise the command and control of a carrier doing these operations in British waters so that when HMS Queen Elizabeth comes into service later this year we will be well on the way to forming our own carrier strike capability.”
Image: ©Crown Copyright
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