The USS Gunston Hall, a Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship has arrived in Portsmouth for a scheduled port visit prior to their participation in Exercise Steadfast Defender 24.

Exercise Steadfast Defender will involve approximately 90,000 forces from 31 Allies and Sweden.

The exercise will validate NATO’s ability to deploy forces rapidly from North America and other parts of the Alliance to reinforce the defense of Europe, and to showcase NATO’s ability to conduct and sustain complex multi-domain operations over several months, across thousands of miles, and in any conditions, from the High North to Central and Eastern Europe.

“The Gunston Hall and her team are looking forward to building on the strong strategic relationships we have established in NATO,” said Cmdr. Christopher W. Van Loenen, commanding officer, Gunston Hall.

“We are excited to have our partners and allies embarked on our ship throughout Steadfast Defender 2024, showcasing interoperability and our ship to shore capabilities.”

According to a U.S. Navy news release:

“This is the first port call for Gunston Hall following its departure from Naval Station Norfolk, Jan. 24.  During Steadfast Defender, Gunston Hall will participate in Exercises Joint Warrior and Nordic Response. The Gunston Hall arrived in the Sixth Fleet area of operations on Feb. 1.

Gunston Hall is one of the most versatile amphibious platforms in the U.S. Navy. With two large helicopter landing pads, the largest well deck in the fleet and troop berthing facilities, she has the ability to embark a diverse array of military forces, including NATO Allies and partners when needed.  The U.S. ship is among more than 50 NATO naval assets, 80 air platforms, and 1,100 combat vehicles participating in Steadfast Defender.  This year marks the 75th anniversary of the NATO Alliance, and the exercise is the largest NATO exercise in 36 years.”

Tom has spent the last 13 years working in the defence industry, specifically military and commercial shipbuilding. His work has taken him around Europe and the Far East, he is currently based in Scotland.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

35 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
David Barry
David Barry
16 days ago

Nice of the septics to lend us one…

Deep32
Deep32
16 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

These are v old ships, the last 4/5 of the class were due to be de-commissioned last year, but some have clearly had a stay of execution as it were. Obviously their newer vessels are needed in other regions at this point in time!

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
15 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Fairly well armed for an olden!

2 × 25 mm Mk 38 cannons.
2 × 20 mm Phalanx CIWS mounts.
2 × Rolling Airframe Missile.
6 × .50 caliber M2HB machine guns.

Frank
Frank
15 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Ha… I just checked her out too….. 35 years of service, not bad really.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
15 days ago
Reply to  Frank

Not too shabby!

Deep32
Deep32
15 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Even us oldies can still ‘throw some shapes’ if required!!😂

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
15 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

😂

DeeBee
DeeBee
15 days ago

Have we sent our little rowing boat yet?

Frank
Frank
15 days ago
Reply to  DeeBee

Not yet…. she went up S&%T creek and lost her Paddle. HMS POW is frantically being readied, you can see her via the HMS Warrior Web Cam….. For much of the week she had Marquees covering certain areas of her deck but they seem to have been removed now together with most of the other stuff…. Her Artisan was tested a few days ago but nothing else is visible.. Hopefully all will be good and she’ll be heading to Glen Mallan soon. It would be interesting to know if QE’s problem can be fixed in port rather than having to… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
15 days ago
Reply to  Frank

Not yet…. she went up S&%T creek and lost her Paddle.

Sorry to have to correct you on this point Frank, she was fitted for but not with paddles 😂

Frank
Frank
15 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

😂

Frank
Frank
15 days ago
Reply to  Frank

What a load of Rollocks !!!!!! 😂

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
15 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

🍺😀

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  DeeBee

Do you mean the Archer class if so 4 of the class have left Pompey bound for Norway via most countries that border the North Sea When they arrive on station .The Yanks will think that they are Liberty Boats for anyone going ashore

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
15 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

For Norway? Can they go that far?

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

Their going coastal stopping at each country I do believe Belgium Holland Germany Denmark Norway Can’t have a frontline Vessel transitting the North Sea in a Grey painter PAS boat with an ensign

Mark P
Mark P
10 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Don’t forget get that they popped into the harbour at Ramsgate in Kent for their first stop off

Tommo
Tommo
10 days ago
Reply to  Mark P

Tescos or Morrisons for Diesel ⛽

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
15 days ago
Reply to  DeeBee

Yes bud it broke down as soon as it got near the harbour entrance

Andrew D
Andrew D
15 days ago

Can we keep it 🤗 🇺🇸 🇬🇧

Marked
Marked
15 days ago

The yanks do like the slab sided look don’t they!

Frank
Frank
15 days ago
Reply to  Marked

Not too dissimilar to our Bays…. The Bays are rather less cluttered though.

Frank62
Frank62
15 days ago

Ah, could that be the large ship at HMNB Portsmouth on the Warrior webcam(Youtube) in the Whale Island/dockyard view, always slightly blurred or just misty yesterday? I can usually ID the RN ships from the masts showing, but this one foxed me. Just checked, still there & clear today. Looks like this one.
Quite the old lady, commisioned 1989.

Last edited 15 days ago by Frank62
Frank
Frank
15 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

Yes it is mate…. She came in last night…. a River was there the day before. (HMS Forth) ….

Frank
Frank
15 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

To be fair, the Web Cam does have a few focussing Issues at times….. The Girt big Shackle and Rope doesn’t help either !!!! But it’s a great Cam though… I have it on live on my other Laptop just watching the comings and goings….. the Solent Cam is also good and the one on the Hoe…….. (That’s Plymouth Hoe not some “Lady” I might be Spying on !!!!!) 😆

Frank62
Frank62
15 days ago
Reply to  Frank

Yes I love that webcam, a regular visitor. I’m in a basement flat with just a couple of frosted glass windows, so webcams help me see various views, though there’s a lot less these last decade or so as councils etc are starved of funding & had to make cuts. My dad served his national service around Portsmouth, moved back there for a few years before he died, also the port my wife & I departed for a February honeymoon to Guernsey back in the 1980s. I never mind the ropes & shackles of Warriors rigging as it makes my… Read more »

Last edited 15 days ago by Frank62
Frank
Frank
15 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

I’m with you mate…. Poor by birth, poor still but my heart is pure RN and I’m so glad we have such Cams…… The Starlings just make my life complete now….. We have a Bay Tree Hedge and it’s full of Sparrows, Blackbirds and Robins,…… the Starlings turn up much later but what a brilliant site when they do…..

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
15 days ago
Reply to  Frank

Noisy buggers

Frank
Frank
15 days ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

Lol…. I’m currently sat in our Motorhome ( safer than being indoors with the wife and Mother in law and All I can hear is about 80 Sparrows……. It’s my fault though… I keep buying wild bird food and feeding them…….. but it’s way better than being Hen Pecked….. !

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
15 days ago
Reply to  Frank

👍

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

They use too murmurate then land in the trees around the Quarterdeck at Whale Island the Captain wanted them moved on 1980 because of their noise and crap they’d leave every morning he lost their still there

Frank
Frank
15 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

They gather on Warriors Rigging, you get good close ups.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
15 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

Commissioned about the same time as the wife was(not a vintage year).

Yes
Yes
15 days ago

Is it an invasion?
Of course not, UK has been the us’s dominion for forever and a day.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
15 days ago

Gunsron h is one of 5 30+ships to be retired by2026.