HMS Queen Elizabeth’s F-35 jets are going into action against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
The Ministry of Defence said in a release:
“The renowned 617 Squadron RAF (‘The Dambusters’) will operate the jets to provide tangible and impactful support to counter-Daesh operations in Iraq and Syria.”
Minister for the Armed Forces, James Heappey MP said:
“The F-35B Lightning jets will pack a potent punch against Daesh and help prevent them from regaining a foothold in Iraq. This is a prime example of the UK Armed Forces stepping forward with our allies to confront persistent threats around the world. It is Global Britain in action.”
A few thoughts… pic.twitter.com/I09c3xNJlQ
— Commander UK Carrier Strike Group (@smrmoorhouse) June 18, 2021
Commodore Steve Moorhouse Royal Navy, Commander UK Carrier Strike Group, tweeted:
“The UK Carrier Strike Group is joining the fight against Daesh. What does this mean? For CSG21 it marks a change of emphasis. To date, we’ve delivered diplomatic influence through exercises & engagements – now we deliver the hard punch of maritime based air power.
For operation SHADER, we bring the fifth generation capabilities of the F35B, including outstanding situational awareness to support the contribution of the Royal Air Force over the past 7 years.
But it also demonstrates the wider utility of maritime based air power. We offer military and political choice, and we are ready to deliver fifth generation combat power into any mission, in any theatre, at a time of our choosing.”
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.
CSG21 will see the ship along with the 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.
The Carrier Strike Group includes ships from the United States Navy, the Dutch Navy, and Marines from the US Marine Corps. As well as British frigates, destroyers, a submarine, two RFA supply ships and air assets from 617 Sqn, 820 NAS, 815 NAS and 845 NAS.
This is the largest deployment of fifth generation fighter jets at sea in history.