Aircraft from British carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and American carrier USS Carl Vinson have conducted joint interoperability flights in the Pacific.
During the joint interoperability flights, the aircraft conducted missions to validate joint integration techniques, tactics, and procedures; including mid-air refueling. This is the first time that VINCSG and CSG-21 have operated together.
“In a very short amount of time, we were able to seamlessly combine the collective 5th generation capabilities of joint strike fighter aircraft from two services and a partner nation together with the rest of the advanced capabilities of our entire air wing,” Capt. Tommy Locke, commander CVW-2, was quoted as saying.
“Our strike group and air wing arrived in the Indo-Pacific ready to demonstrate the value of having agile 5th generation maritime power in the region – and make no doubt, we are ready to win.”
Participating aircraft from U.S. Navy Carrier Air Wing Two (CVW-2) include: four F-35C Lightning IIs from Strike Fight Squadron (VFA) 147; five F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFA) 2 and 192; two EA-18G Growlers, from Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 136; and one E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, from Airborne Command and Control Squadron (VAW) 113.
Participating aircraft from HMS Queen Elizabeth include: two U.S. F-35Bs from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211; and two F-35Bs from 617 Squadron.
“Integrating United Kingdom and U.S. Marine Corps F-35Bs into a flight with U.S. Navy F-35Cs continues to reinforce the tactical flexibility and interoperability of the F-35,” said Col. Simon Doran, U.S. Senior National Representative to the UK CSG.
“Additionally, the mission further demonstrates the F-35s ability to support distributed maritime operations.”