According to a news release from the Ministry of Defence, the Carrier Strike Group will undertake anti-Submarine exercises with the US Pacific Fleet, allied submarines, helicopters and P-8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft.
According to a news release here:
“Overall these events represent a crucial milestone in the regeneration of the UK Carrier Strike capability that will contribute to collective defence and security for decades to come. Carrier Strike Group 21 embodies the Prime Minister’s vision for the UK as an outward facing, modern and responsible international actor who also takes its global defence and security responsibilities seriously and invests in them accordingly.”
UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:
“As we witness a tilt in power towards the Indo-Pacific region, we are committed to working with our partners here to defend democratic values, tackle shared threats and keep our nations safe.
The involvement of the UK’s fifth generation Carrier Strike Group in this significant series of exercises right across the Indo-Pacific region highlights the renewed importance we place on the UK’s long-standing defence and security relationships with our valued partners and allies in the region.”
As announced in the Integrated Review of Defence, Security and Foreign Policy earlier in the year, the UK is committed to a more persistent presence in the Indo-Pacific.
First Sea Lord Tony Radakin said:
“2021 marks the UK’s return to Carrier Strike with the first operational deployment of HMS Queen Elizabeth, the world’s first carrier designed around fifth generation aircraft. She is deployed with UK and US F35-B jets, accompanied by Royal Navy, US Navy and Royal Netherlands Navy ships as they travel 26,000 nautical miles to the Indo-Pacific.
The Integrated Review and the uplift to the Defence budget provided by the Government enables us to have two aircraft carriers – HMS Queen Elizabeth and her sister ship HMS Prince of Wales. This provides us with the platform and ability to operate globally, supporting and working with our partners and friends.”
The MoD also add that following on from the strike group’s inaugural deployment, the UK will permanently assign two Offshore Patrol Vessels to the region from later this year as well as contributing a Littoral Response Group (LRG) in the coming years.
“HMS Spey and HMS Tamar will deploy to the Indo-Pacific at the end of August 2021 and will be supported by partners during their operations, including Australia, Japan and Singapore.”
The group recently met with some American vessels.
Currently however, HMS Diamond isn’t with the group after suffering a defect. You can read more about that here.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said in a news release:
“The UK Carrier Strike Group deployment is a major moment for UK defence as we develop this cutting edge capability across the globe. The group is sailing the Indian Ocean and will shortly conduct exercises with the Indian Navy, building on our already strong partnership with an important ally and friend. The deployment illustrates the UK’s enduring commitment to global defence and security, strengthening our existing alliances and forging new partnerships with like-minded countries as we face up to the challenges of the 21st century.”
What is the UK Carrier Strike Group doing?
HMS Queen Elizabeth is the deployed flag ship for Carrier Strike Group 21 (CSG21), a deployment that will see the ship and her escorts sail to the Asia-Pacific and back. The Carrier Strike Group includes ships from the United States Navy, the Dutch Navy, and Marines from the US Marine Corps as well as air assets from 617 Sqn, 820 NAS, 815 NAS and 845 NAS.
CSG21 will see the carrier along with her Strike Group work with over 40 countries from around the world. The Strike Group will operate and exercise with other countries Navies and Air Forces during the 7 month deployment.
Recently, the Strike Group joined coalition operations in the Eastern Mediterranean; an historic milestone as British and American F-35B strike fighters flew the first operational missions from a Queen Elizabeth-class carrier, as they stood ready to strike at Daesh.
Commodore Steve Moorhouse, Commander United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group, said:
“The Carrier Strike Group’s period working with our NATO partners in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Black Seas offers unmistakable proof that the United Kingdom’s most important overseas defence commitment remains the security of the Euro-Atlantic region. While HMS Queen Elizabeth launched counter-Daesh missions over Iraq and Syria from the Eastern Mediterranean, HMS Defender and HNLMS Evertsen were conducting concurrent operations 1600 miles away in the Black Sea – true strategic reach.
Meanwhile, our programme of defence engagement involved a huge amount of work in support of British Embassies and High Commissions, but from Alicante to Alexandria and Bar to Batumi, the message was the same: Britain’s friends and allies are delighted to see the Royal Navy back in town. Now we head east, towards the rising economies of the Indo-Pacific. From the Strait of Gibraltar to the Strait of Malacca, CSG21 offers unprecedented influence and engagement in support of Global Britain.”