HMS Queen Elizabeth and her crew are simulating a “global crisis” to see how the aircraft carrier and her escorts would fare in the real world.
At its largest, her task group will comprise more than a dozen warships, support vessels and squadrons, including three dozen F-35B jets and helicopters – around 3,700 military personnel in all.
The Royal Navy say here that the two-week-long Virtual Warrior is one of two final assessments the ship and command staff must come through before the 65,000-tonne warship leads her task force on deployment.
“The digital workout picks up where the carrier strike group disbanded last autumn at the end of exercises off Scotland. It will be followed by a live-action assessment during this spring’s Joint Warrior war game, ‘Strike Warrior’, after which the force can head to Mediterranean, Middle East and Asia-Pacific region on its Carrier Strike Group 21 mission. Making use of an impressive combined computer training suite at HMS Collingwood in Fareham, Virtual Warrior allows various scenarios to be played out – testing the ability of the Carrier Strike Group staff to respond to multiple incidents and issues, across a vast area.”
The release adds:
“At its largest the task group will comprise more than a dozen warships, support vessels and squadrons, including three dozen F-35B jets and helicopters – around 3,700 military personnel in all. But there will be times when some vessels and aircraft break away from the force for specific missions – so the team on HMS Queen Elizabeth must be able to direct and advise their actions, as well as the core carrier group.”
Lieutenant Commander Jeremy Olver of the Carrier Strike Group staff, was quoted as saying:
“Virtual Warrior is about command and control – it may not be as exciting as being at sea, but it’s just as important. The carrier group will consist of numerous ships and squadrons, some operating at considerable range. It’s crucial that they are all thinking and operating in the same way and information is shared around them. Each one of the ‘warrior’ exercises is more sophisticated and demanding with Strike Warrior the final ‘tick in the box’ before we sail.”
You can read more about the upcoming deployment here.