HMS Richmond, a frigate assigned to HMS Queen Elizabeth’s Carrier Strike Group, has been welcomed to Karachi, Pakistan.

As a representation of the ‘Indo-Pacific tilt’ in the UK’s foreign policy, the Carrier Strike Group made its maiden deployment in May 2021 and has conducted operations and engagements in the Mediterranean and the Indo-Pacific.

The Strike group will travel over 26,000 nautical miles from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea, from the Gulf of Aden to the Arabian Sea, and from the Indian Ocean to the Philippine Sea, engaging with 40 countries. This deployment will end in December 2021.

Besides HMS Richmond, the Strike Group comprises aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, Type 45 destroyers HMS Defender and HMS Diamond (although this ship has had recent issues), Type 23 anti-submarine frigate HMS Kent, and tanker and storage ships Fort Victoria and RFA Tidespring.

In Addition, there’s an Astute class submarine, an American destroyer and a Dutch frigate.

You can read more about that the Carrier Strike Group has been up to by visiting the link below.

Where has HMS Queen Elizabeth’s strike group been?

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ChariotRider
ChariotRider
10 days ago

According to the USNI News website the USS The Sullivans has left the CSG and returned to national tasking. Full article here.

Cheers CR

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
10 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

The Dutch frigate I think has left as well, wondering if they would get some replacement escorts for the trip home.

Challenger
Challenger
10 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

An Astute is also currently visiting Western Australia. Would like to think an allied SSN is with the carrier group as I can’t imagine the RN has another of ours East of Suez.

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
10 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Are they still needed? If the group is heading home there’s little need for ballistic missile defenses, which seems the be the unique capability those two brought.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
9 days ago
Reply to  Tomartyr

You would be out of range of China on the way back but you would still be passing by Iran and Russias Syria/Black Sea forces.

George Parker
George Parker
9 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

I had assumed they would return through the Panama.

Mark B
Mark B
10 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Thought it said it will leave over the coming weeks. I’m assuming that means it will not escort all the way back to UK.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
10 days ago

Has HMS Diamond been given a green light yet or is she still alongside in Singapore. With the US and Dutch escorts out of the picture and Astute flying the flag in Australia we will have to be contented with 2 Frigates and a Destroyer to make sure CSG makes it home OK.

Lusty
Lusty
10 days ago

Yes – Diamond sailed from Singapore.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
10 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

That’s good news, did the powers that be give any indication of what had gone wrong with her. I was begging to thing the CSG was going to finish its last leg with a couple of remotely operated speed boats for escorts. The initial reports back in May were that the US and the Dutch were in for the long haul IE their escorts were to finish the deployment before being released back to their respective nations. I wonder why they have left early. That just leaves the USMC and their F35s, may be they will fly of mid Atlantic… Read more »

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
10 days ago

It will have been long planned for those vessels to head off at the planned time. They don’t follow the carrier all the way to the English Channel. Escorts break off to carry out there own tasking. Just like the RN Escorts have taken part in different taskings and port visits All 6 escorts are not glued to the carrier for the whole 7 months.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
10 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Hello Robert,
I understand the escorts have their own agenda as well but it was well reported back in May that all the escorts were going to be part of the CSG on the outward legs as well as the homeward legs, I do believe that there are still a couple of legs left.
Just wondering if there are some underlining politics involved.

Chris
Chris
9 days ago

The Sullivans has been at sea longer than any ship in the CSG. Their deployment started in Florida, not the UK. 10 months later, they have to go. The ship has a laundry list of maintenance items to be handled.

A destroyer and two frigates is plenty in peace time. US carriers often sail the Atlantic with no escorts at all.

Last edited 9 days ago by Chris
Watcherzero
Watcherzero
9 days ago
Reply to  Chris

US carrriers are pretty much always escorted by one or two cruisers, a full squadron of destroyers and two SSN’s.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
9 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Nope they are not.

USS Carriers may get that on a deployment but on return legs and transits home they are lucky if they get a single AB or Tico and whatever lies beneath.

For the USN a Squadron of destroyers is anything greater than 1 …Using that adage then the CSG has a squadron of frigates and destroyers with it…which it doesn’t.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
9 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

US Doctrine is a minimum of five escorts even when transiting.

Lusty
Lusty
10 days ago

As far as I’m aware, there has been no official statement as to what happened the second time. Sources appeared to confirm it was nothing to do with engines or power, but as I said, there has been nothing released to back up the claims.

Mark B
Mark B
10 days ago

Perhaps Astute is taking over tasking from another boat or two homeward bound which will escort the CSG.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
10 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

May be, or the US destroyer has been replaced by a US SSN or 2 as our massive fleet of SSNs are a bit thin on the ground at the moment.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
9 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

SSN’s are not a lot of use in the shallow waters of the Med.

T23’s are the ideal tool for the job in those waters.

Meirion x
Meirion x
8 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

All the talk about which sub it was going to be escort when in the Med, was HMS Artfull, and surprise surprise, HMS Astute turns up in the Indian Ocean!

Last edited 8 days ago by Meirion x
David Steeper
David Steeper
10 days ago

Just read awesome quote from Pres Biden about the US’s ‘oldest, closest and most decent ally’ hope everyone grabs the chance to read it.

RobW
RobW
10 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Canada? 🤣

David Steeper
David Steeper
10 days ago
Reply to  RobW

😁

Jon
Jon
9 days ago
Reply to  RobW

LOL. Many, possibly most, of the soldiers who beat up on the US in the war of 1812 were Canadian. Canada’s oldest ally, despite its significant francophone minority, is Britain. Canada remained loyal to the crown, and are a polite, respected nation without an enemy in the world. They don’t have the abiding guilt of slavery or the endemic racism of their southern neighbour. They have universal healthcare, abide by the UN’s charter on children’s rights and never lost 2.5% of their population in a civil war over an issue that had been settled within the British Empire decades previously.… Read more »

David Steeper
David Steeper
9 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Well said about Canada. Portugal may be our oldest ally but she doesn’t show any evidence for it these days. She’s a commited member of the EU. These days those 2 facts look increasing contradictory.

geoff
geoff
9 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Morning Jon. Indeed Canada remains close to the UK and I predict she will be the last Commonwealth nation to abandon the Crown after Charles inherits the throne although much of the tradition-red coated Guardsmen and the like will remain. Anglo’s are now a 30% minority in Canada and the demographic is rapidly changeing in NZ and to a lesser extent Australia. As for Portugal-agree with David. We haven’t had much to do with them militarily or politically for many years and of course our refusal to allow them use of our bases in Cyprus when India marched into Goa… Read more »

Last edited 9 days ago by geoff
Paul.P
Paul.P
9 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Points to ponder…
I think Nelson said England expects …every man etc…
The white ensign is a Union flag within the flag of St George

Alan Reid
Alan Reid
9 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Yes – even Nelson could have done with a bit of correction, too! 😉
The Kingdom of England (including Wales) and the Kingdom of Scotland voluntarily extinguished themselves in 1707 to form a new single unitary state called the Kingdom of Great Britain.
In 1801 that became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (now Northern Ireland).
But I’ll let Nelson off, Paul, “The United Kingdom expects . every man etc …” doesn’t quite have the same dramatic ring about it!

Paul.P
Paul.P
9 days ago
Reply to  Alan Reid

The head says United Kingdom. Hearts say England and Scotland.😉

geoff
geoff
8 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

“England” as a substitute for the United Kingdom is a habit that persists and that should be avoided even when Nelson says it!! The St Georges Cross in the White ensign is also referred to as a Naval cross and still used in many Commonwealth Navies including India! A suggestion made in a Flag Institute publication that the cross should be blue thus combining the colours of Scotland in the cross of England is I think a good one and certainly more equitable.
Cheers from Durban

Paul.P
Paul.P
8 days ago
Reply to  geoff

England is not a substitute for the United Kingdom. England is England….as in England soccer team, England rugby and cricket teams, NHS England, fhe Church of England, the English language, English Law and so on. England is that nation state which came into being in 927AD at Eamont Bridge in Cumbria when all the Anglo Saxon kingdoms pledged their allegiance to Aethelstan as king of all England and Constantine king of Scotland and the princes of Wales and Strathclyde acknowledged his overlordship. The United Kingdom as a political entity was formed when a Scottish Lords had to be bailed out… Read more »

geoff
geoff
8 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Hi Paul. I think you have misunderstood me entirely. I am well aware of the history of England. What I meant was that many people both in England and abroad continue to use the words ENGLAND and BRITAIN or the UK as synonyms which really irks me. Yanks(god bless them) talking about England’s Queen Elizabeth or England leaving the EU etc etc. Even historically like Cecil John Rhodes saying to be born English is to win first prize in the Lottery of life blah blah. The United Kingdom has the most shambolic structure in flags,symbols and the institution of Union… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
8 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Sorry Geoff. You pressed an early morning button there. 😂
I think we are pretty much on the same page.

geoff
geoff
7 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

All good Paul. Cheers Mate

Alan Reid
Alan Reid
7 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Hi Geoff – I largely agree. There was no formal union of the crowns in 1603. Instead, there was a personal union of three kingdoms (England, Scotland and Ireland) under one man – James the First, or James the Sixth. Take your choice ! A personal union between the Stuarts and the three kingdoms remained in force until 1707. There really was no “English Civil War” in 1642-49 either, it is now more accurately called the War of the Three Kingdoms. Today’s Elizabeth is indeed the first sovereign of that name in the United Kingdom. But there was once another… Read more »

geoff
geoff
7 days ago
Reply to  Alan Reid

Hi Alan-Cry God for Harry,England and St George 😂

geoff
geoff
8 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Yes Paul-De Gaulle of “Vive Le Quebec libre” fame.After the humiliation of Indo-China and despite the vastly better odds in terms of geography and population in Algeria, De Gaulle was realistic enough to recognise that France could not hold on to Algeria, so despite several assassination attempts and the best efforts of his treachorous generals, Algeria left the French empire along with the rest of their African possessions. The British also wised up early and in the spirit of the “Winds of Change” reality bowed out of Empire with as little trouble as possible. i left the federation of Rhodesia… Read more »

Alan Reid
Alan Reid
7 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

“The United Kingdom as a political entity was formed when a Scottish Lords had to be bailed out by the English banks” . Hmmm, you’re rehearsing rather dodgy history, though, Paul. Great Britain was formed in 1707 – the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (now Northern Ireland) was formed in 1801. I find it difficult to describe any early medieval state (certainly not one in 927AD) as a “nation state” – at that time, if you asked a man from the British Isles to describe his identity: he might state that he’s from a village, or a family,… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 days ago
Reply to  Alan Reid

Not so much a state of mind as of heart. As I see it and experience it, Scotland is a.’bottom up’ society where a strong +ve sense of community aggregates into a +ve sense of national identity. Scottish people are proud of their country and proud to fly the Saltire. By contrast England is very much a ‘top down’ society, not so much a community as an archipelago of competing clubs and Trusts the biggest of these clubs being the conservative party. The English are reluctant to fly the cross of St George in case they are thought to be… Read more »

Last edited 7 days ago by Paul.P
Alan Reid
Alan Reid
6 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Thanks for your interesting comments, Paul. I agree that Brexit was probably due to some resurgence in a sense of English national identity. Or perhaps it was a typically cussed English reaction when being told by experts what to do! Although the Welsh did also vote for Brexit – and almost one million Scots (their views completely unrepresented by the Scottish political class). If we really are seeing a resurgence of national identity, it is ironically happening when we have never been more homogeneous on these islands. As I see it, there is really no linguistic, religious or cultural differences… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
6 days ago
Reply to  Alan Reid

Each one of the nations within the UK needs to come to terms with itself. This is what is happening now; the opening up of old wounds so that they can be cleaned and healed. We are seeing this everywhere: in Afghanistan the Taliban are mellowing; in Ireland sworn enemies Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are in coalition. Even the Tory party is acquiring a social conscience thanks to covid and Brexit. One of the things that distinguishes humans from animals is the ability to change yourself. The UK is very fortunate in not having a written constitution. Just passing… Read more »

Jon
Jon
9 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Scotland’s oldest ally is probably France, hence my use of England. It would have undermined my point a bit! 😊

geoff
geoff
8 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Vive L’Ecosse!!

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
9 days ago
Reply to  Jon

However…
I have a Canadian friends from my time at NATO. They have 1st Nation heritage and the scandals emanating from Canada about the treatment of 1st Nation children in the past and the RCMP attitude to disappearances of some 1st nation women over the years is appalling.

Jon
Jon
9 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

True. No nation is without its original sin. Some of the things I read about Canadian maltreatment of first nation people is depressingly recent. The hundreds of unmarked graves in religious schools that operated right up to the end of the twentieth century is creepy as heck.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
9 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Quite sickening really.

Although it in no way takes away from the horrors of what was done: there were religious orders all over the world going things that were effectively the same.

Alan Reid
Alan Reid
9 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

It’s diplomacy, David …. he’s being super extra-nice to France after AUKUS.

David Steeper
David Steeper
9 days ago
Reply to  Alan Reid

Clinton, Bush Jnr, Obama, Trump and now Biden. Do you see a pattern ? Guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. Do you remember Blair and his ‘Blood price’ Maybe if we paid in more blood we’d be more ‘decent’

Last edited 9 days ago by David Steeper
Alan Reid
Alan Reid
9 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Hi David, We’ll need to see how Biden’s presidency develops – but I don’t feel any great concern about how the others that you mention engaged with the UK.

Ultimately, governments have common interests – not friendships. And I do feel strongly that actions are more important than mere words.

For instance, this thread is about Carrier Strike Group 2021. The United States has been very supportive in our regeneration of this capability. It’s good for the UK – and it’s also good for the US Navy.

Alan Reid
Alan Reid
9 days ago
Reply to  Alan Reid

Och – I see you’ve added a wee extra bit, David! Yes, I remember Blair’s remarks about – ‘Blood price’. But those are the comments of a British Prime Minister – not a US President. Perhaps misguidedly, Blair saw diplomatic advantage in aligning the UK with Bush’s Iraq adventure. But I hold Blair responsible for that decision – not the American President. A US President is allowed to practice diplomacy – and say nice things about other countries (even France!) We must avoid the tendency to act like a jealous lover 😉! But while we watch the Biden/Macron bromance –… Read more »

David Steeper
David Steeper
9 days ago
Reply to  Alan Reid

If I’d added more I’d have found more to agree with before I posted it ! I’m not going to repeat some of what I said before. But I am seriously not jealous of France ! As far as Iraq and Afghanistan are concerned I wish the positions had been reversed. To finish. My anger is also at those who delude themselves into thinking the US leadership of either party have anything but contempt for their ‘special relationship’ and that sending there fellow citizens to die is a worthwile price for there fantasy.

David Steeper
David Steeper
9 days ago
Reply to  Alan Reid

I have no problem with the US military but I have a very big problem with the US political class. You say you don’t have any problem with the Presidents I named. I’d suggest you need to read more. For Clinton and Biden I’d suggest N.Ireland. For Obama I’d suggest Falklands and Gibraltar but generally he just hated this country. For Trump it was less personal he is a sociopath and treated everyone equally badly. Bush Jnr is probably the least guilty as he is almost certainly retarded. Mostly I blame Blair for the blood price. But above all of… Read more »

Last edited 9 days ago by David Steeper
Alan Reid
Alan Reid
9 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Hi David If I remember Clinton’s presidency, he actively supported our government’s efforts that led to peace in Northern Ireland. And he also led military interventions that ended European wars in Bosnia and Kosovo. All were in the British national interest. Obama worked well with David Cameron, and stated that he found Gordon Brown a good partner after the great financial crash of 2008. Indeed he supported Brown’s calls for a co-ordinated international response. That was in the British national interest too. The “special relationship bullshit” didn’t stop Harold Wilson side-stepping British involvement in the Vietnam war, despite the entreaties… Read more »

David Steeper
David Steeper
9 days ago
Reply to  Alan Reid

No prob.👍

Pete
Pete
9 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Their oldest ally is France…if a politician made such compliments on third party territory or in general passing you might believe it. When it comes as you welcome them at the door….blah.

A close ally, yes
An old ally, yes….
Special relationship…a few agencies yes…but certainly not at the political level.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
9 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

France is usually referred to as the US oldest ally as without the dozen ship of the line’s that gained naval supremacy along the coast, the army and all the weapons they supplied they would have lost the war. Though the US betrayed them, one of the conditions of the treaty with France was that the US wouldnt make peace with Britain until Spain had recovered Gibraltar and Florida and neither France, Spain or the US would make peace without the agreement of the others…

David Steeper
David Steeper
9 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Thanks.👍

Sean
Sean
9 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Biden is just flattering Macron after the USA and UK took advantage of the fact that the French had screwed up the submarine contract with Australia. The French are still peeved which is why they’ve created this bogus fishing crisis. Fact is countries like France and Germany are envious of not being able to join the Anglo centred Five Eyes. Even with AUKUS, the Australians aren’t getting the degree of nuclear technology sharing the UK gets from the USA. Not to mention the UK was the only Tier 1 partner in the F35 programme. These are the special relationships that… Read more »

farouk
farouk
9 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Sean wrote: The French are still peeved which is why they’ve created this bogus fishing crisis.  I actually checked the UK Gov website regards the above and i found that the Gov published the details of exactly how many licences were issued over a month ago and those stats are: Applications from the EU = 1715 Licences issued by the Uk = 1680 Applications rejected = 35 Licences issued to France = 736 if you follow the link to the website, if you click on the link as depicted at the bottom right of my screen dump it will take… Read more »

Opera Snapshot_2021-11-01_024934_www.gov.uk.png
Last edited 9 days ago by farouk
Sean
Sean
9 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Yup, HMG issued licences to every French fishing boat that could prove a history of fishing in British waters as per the agreement. Boats are supposed to record in their log-books where they have been fishing under EU regulations. So the 35 rejected applications were either for boats that had not been fishing in U.K. waters, or they were for boats that had been fishing illegally.

The French are playing politics.

David Steeper
David Steeper
9 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Yeah maybe. ‘Decent’ got me.

Simon
Simon
9 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Macron is having an election its suits him to pick an argument with UK. He has lost Merkel an maybe influence with EU and understandably perhaps losing the sub deal was loss of face. How he handled the sub affair looks increasingly childish.

Sean
Sean
9 days ago
Reply to  Simon

He’s also trying to take-over Merkel’s mantle as the dominant national leader within the EU. But if the U.K. lodges a formal protest and the ECJ finds for the U.K. against France then he’s going to look ridiculous to his own voters.

David Steeper
David Steeper
9 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Not ECJ thank god. There’s an independent adjudication process. EU pushed hard for it to be ECJ this shows why it would have been a very bad idea.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
9 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Bravo.

Jonathan
Jonathan
9 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

It’s always worth remembering that nations do not have friends or moral compasses in the same way as people. They have interests, sometimes these align with other nations for a time, sometimes they don’t, sometimes nations follow a foreign policy that is focused on enlighten self interest other times they use power and coercion. The who special relationship makes me laugh, before the great rapprochement almost all Americans consider the U.K. to be their natural enemy’s and had a very high degree of hatred on the American side. This Anglophobia still existed even in the mid 20c with many portions… Read more »

David Steeper
David Steeper
9 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Can’t disagree with one sentence of that. It seems to have found a home in the Democrats and is violently pro IRA/Eire and equally violently anti UK. Biden is the highest profile member but far from the only one.

Jonathan
Jonathan
9 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Yes, always support joint working and that enlightened self interest, but the nation that puts its defence and future in the hands of a second nation will always find itself left in the cold one day..Ukraine is a great example, lots of worlds, but in the end the treaty it had with the U.K. and US was simply words on a piece of paper when it’s big neighbour came for what it wanted.

David Steeper
David Steeper
9 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

We learned from our mistake and so has Ukraine.

Kaur
Kaur
9 days ago

Interesting how the visit and tri service exercise in between visiting Bangladesh and Pakistan has been skipped here. Maybe the only time F35B of UK flew with Flankers in friendly terms. Personally was waiting for an article.

Frank62
Frank62
9 days ago
Reply to  Kaur

Neither Pakistan nor Bangladesh has Flankers(SU-27/30/33/35). Bangladesh has a few Mig 29 Fulcrums & Pakistan a mix of American, Chinese & French jets.

Paul.P
Paul.P
9 days ago

Sales promotion for future T23 sales?

David Steeper
David Steeper
9 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Pakistan is very definitely not a country we’ll be selling high end kit too. Would have to strip out everything we don’t think the Chinese have already stolen.

Paul.P
Paul.P
9 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Monmouth could be an upcycling opportunity?

David Steeper
David Steeper
9 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Good spot. Maybe.

Harry Nelson
Harry Nelson
9 days ago

Everyone of those Pakistani sailors waving the flags were obviously volunteered, never has a flag been waved so unenthusiastically. 😉😂

David Steeper
David Steeper
9 days ago
Reply to  Harry Nelson

Be grateful they weren’t Taliban flags. LOL

simon alexander
simon alexander
9 days ago
Reply to  Harry Nelson

sort of like visiting the unloved in laws at xmas, don’t want to upset anyone and get out quick.