HMS Queen Elizabeth and her Carrier Strike Group pulled into Apra Harbor in the midst of the CSG21 deployment this week.
The U.S. Navy say here that the deployment is the UK’s first by a carrier strike group in the Indo-Pacific for almost 25 years and “marks a historic achievement in the bilateral partnership between the U.S. and UK”.
“CSG21 is a prime example of the powerful partnerships we have, not just with our neighbors in this region, but around the world,” said Rear Adm. Benjamin Nicholson, commander, Joint Region Marianas.
“The U.K. is one of our most stalwart and skilled allies, and their participation in our exercises and operations in the Pacific is a demonstration of the deep relationship we share in terms of defense and deterrence of our adversaries.”
“The arrival of the Carrier Strike Group in Guam is an important milestone for CSG21,” said Commodore Steve Moorhouse, commander of the United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group.
“Since we left the UK in May, our journey has taken us from the familiar waters of the Atlantic, through the Mediterranean, across the Indian Ocean and into the Western Pacific. During this time we have undertaken exercises and engagements with more than 20 nations,” Moorhouse added.
“Our visit to Guam provides an opportunity for some much deserved rest and recreation. We are grateful to the U.S. Navy for the use of their facilities and we look forward to exploring this beautiful Pacific Island.”
Capt. Mike Luckett, Naval Base Guam commanding officer, was quoted as saying:
“The deployment of Carrier Strike Group 21 is an incredible and historic milestone for both the Royal Navy and the U.S. Navy, highlighting the interoperability and global reach of our combined forces, as we work together with our allies and partners towards our shared interest in a free and open rules-based order. It marks the culmination of nearly 10 years of carrier cooperation between the U.S. and UK defense establishments and demonstrates the depth of our bilateral defense relationship. U.S. Naval Base Guam is proud to host our allies for this historic visit, which is a vital reminder of Guam’s strategic importance in the Western Pacific.”