Home Aircraft carrier British Carrier Strike Group HMS Queen Elizabeth welcomes high-ranking NATO visitors

British Carrier Strike Group HMS Queen Elizabeth welcomes high-ranking NATO visitors

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They were joined by the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR), General Tim Radford and representatives from Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States. British Defense Procurement Minister Jeremy Quin greeted the NATO delegation in the flight deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth, where visitors watched the British and American F-35 Lightning jets take off.

Defense Purchasing Minister Jeremy Quin said:

CSG21 opened the next chapter in the UK’s contribution to NATO. The deployment underscored the breadth, depth and breadth of the defense and security partnerships at the heart of the world’s oldest Alliance.

The visit comes as CSG21 nears the end of its 7-month deployment. He has traveled over 40,000 nautical miles to the Indo-Pacific and back. The group’s ships and aircraft have operated and exercised with more than 40 countries, including many NATO allies, in an international demonstration of unity with our allies and partners.

The British Carrier Strike Group is NATO’s first 5th generation naval air strike capability and marks a sea change in military technology, interoperability and integration. It demonstrates the UK’s unwavering commitment to NATO and the safety and security of our Euro-Atlantic home.

UK Permanent Representative to NATO Dame Sarah MacIntosh said:

It was an honor to visit Carrier Strike Group 21 with NATO Ambassadors as HMS Queen Elizabeth returns home.

The Carrier Strike Group is allied by design, and engaged with more than 40 allies and partners around the world during this deployment. We are delighted to have demonstrated the unity of the Alliance in action.

Yesterday Italian F-35s first landed on HMS Queen Elizabeth, NATO’s first European partner to operate the aircraft from Britain’s new aircraft carrier. It is the same B variant of the joint RAF / Royal Navy and US Marine Corps stealth fighter currently on board the British flagship based in Portsmouth. Italy is the only other NATO partner, apart from the United States and the United Kingdom, to exploit this variant.

British CSG Commander Royal Navy Commodore Steve Moorhouse said:

The fact that American, Italian and British F-35Bs can fly to and from each other’s cockpits provides tactical agility and a strategic advantage to NATO.

This activity is an eye-opening demonstration of the UK flagship’s interoperability with other nations; Italy is the third country to land an F-35B on the deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth and the seventh military operating F-35 with which the British CSG trained on CSG21.


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