04 Jun 2019

HMS Queen Elizabeth moves closer to operations with transatlantic training

HMS Queen Elizabeth will deploy in late summer for the
eastern seaboard of the US, including a port visit in the Washington area where
she will host the Atlantic Future Forum.

The UK’s largest and most advanced warship ever will be
making the transatlantic journey for the second consecutive year to train
alongside the UK’s closest ally. She will also make a number of port calls
whilst deployed before returning ahead of Christmas.

Whilst in the Washington area she will host the Atlantic
Future Forum, which aims at bringing the US and UK industry and military
together to address the changing nature of warfare and shared threats both
allies face at home and abroad.

The deployment, known as ‘WESTLANT 19’, will see HMS Queen
Elizabeth and her crew conduct vital deck and warfare trials with UK F-35 jets
from 17 Test and Evaluation Squadron based in the USA and 617 Squadron based at
RAF Marham, as well rotary wing training with Merlin and Wildcat helicopters.

Whilst Stateside, she will also welcome United States Marine
Corps F-35s on deck, further developing the deep and historic tradition of the
UK and US armed forces operating seamlessly side by side.

HMS Queen Elizabeth remains set to be deployed on global
operations from 2021 and when Prince of Wales joins her in the fleet in the
near future, the UK will have one carrier available at very high readiness at
all times.

Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt said: “HMS Queen Elizabeth represents the best of British innovation and is a true embodiment of our international ambition. The fact that this important ship will have visited the US twice within her short service thus far is testament to our enduring transatlantic defence relationship.

image © Crown Copyright

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