It has been reported that “almost half” of the warships in HMS Queen Elizabeth’s Carrier Strike Group have been hit by positive COVID-19 cases.

The Sun, which broke the story first, stated that the sailors became infected when they were on a run ashore at Limassol in Cyprus.

A Royal Navy spokesman said in a statement:

“As part of routine testing, a small number of crew from the Carrier Strike Group have tested positive for Covid-19. All personnel deployed in the UK CSG have received both doses of the Covid vaccine and there are a number of mitigation measures on board including masks, social distancing and a track and trace system. The Carrier Strike Group will continue to deliver their operational tasks and there are no effects on the deployment.”

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said during a press briefing on Tuesday:

“Our crew are double vaccinated so you’ll be glad to know there is no serious effects on any of the crew and we will manage it. I will offer support to the captain to make the decision – what is right for his ship. I will fully support whatever decision he makes but this is not like the early days of the problems with COVID. It is understood, we know how to deal with it.”

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.

The Carrier Strike Group.

Not pictured above is the Astute class submarine sailing with the group.

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.”

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Gunbuster
Gunbuster
3 months ago

It used to be that after a run ashore the biggest worry was having caught Gonz and then start squeezing..

No supprise that they got COVID. If your jabbed up (I had my third 2 weeks ago) you need to start living with it not running away from it.

Trevor Holcroft
Trevor Holcroft
2 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Third?

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
2 months ago

Yep… Booster 6 months after my second which was 2 weeks after my first. Gotta love the BHR health service… And all covid treatments are free.

TrevorH
TrevorH
2 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

I am not in touch. What is BHR?

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
2 months ago
Reply to  TrevorH

Bahrain… Where I work.

farouk
farouk
2 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

My first posting was to 24 field sqn RE based at Kitchener Bks Chatham (just across the road from one of the gates to the naval base) The lads who caught something nasty were sent by the med centre at Brompton (which actually sat above the NB) to if i remember correctly the School of Tropical medicine and those who had the pleasure of visiting would regale us younger guys to tales of the umbellar

David S
David S
2 months ago
Reply to  farouk

Yes, feels like your passing boiling water for the next few days.

Lusty
Lusty
3 months ago

Concerning news, but it’s hardly surprising given the number of port visits made by ships from the group.

Unfortunately (in slightly unrelated news), a sailor from HMS Kent has passed away. I’d just like to take the time to say that my thoughts are with their family, friends and shipmates. Rest easy, shipmate.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
2 months ago
Reply to  Lusty

Yes, the really sad news was from Kent.

I just hope it leads to a quick & quiet think about how support and welfare can be improved on and off board. Real improvements not just another manual.

The real fighting assets of a navy are the people.

LongTime
LongTime
2 months ago

Perhaps the £200M yacht could be a mental health R&R vessel and Not for some political ego trip. We still have 1000s of serving and ex members of the forces struggling with their mental health and no ‘REAL’ plan from the MOD other than some nice PR statements. IMO it’s time for a public enquiry into the consistent failures to support service personnel’s mental health, with a committee of mental health professionals and recovering serving/veterans on the bench. Call all previous Defence Secretary’s and chiefs of staff back to 2000 to explain themselves and perhaps the current incumbents will actually… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by LongTime
David
David
2 months ago
Reply to  LongTime

That’s a totally unexpected shot and thanks for posting.

Really interesting idea.

Sceptical Richard
Sceptical Richard
2 months ago
Reply to  LongTime

When I ran my last company before I retired, we used to sponsor (cover the costs of) one of the flotilla of sailing boats ran by the RAF out of Portsmouth, although it was available as a Joint asset. Main purpose was to give boys and girls suffering from stress and mental overload an escape valve as part of a programme of rehabilitation. These services are available but not enough

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
2 months ago
Reply to  Lusty

Mess deck kit sale time.
Pair of boots? quid
Trousers 20 quid

Money goes to the family. An old tradition to sell a dead crew members kit and to pass the money to the family. Sounds cold and callous but it closes out the issue in the mess deck and the wider ship.

I once paid 40 quid for a belt…

Jesse
Jesse
2 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

One of the biggest arguments I ever saw was over who was paying a lads beer bill off after he unfortunately passed

Again, all money went to the family

Last edited 2 months ago by Jesse
Airborne
Airborne
2 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

We did the same, auction time, the lads would pay well over the odds for kit, knowing the true meaning behind it.

Nic
Nic
2 months ago

It just shows you how reports can be different , The Suns says that half the Carrier group contracted COVID and the Navy states that it is only a small number.

Marked
Marked
2 months ago
Reply to  Nic

The sun like all the mainsteam media just look to sensationalise everything rather than report facts.

Trevor Holcroft
Trevor Holcroft
2 months ago
Reply to  Nic

A small number in half the ships. But I think most sun readers will be more interested in Katie Price’s liposuction.

Mark F
Mark F
2 months ago

As is usual a risk assessment has been carried out. It was going to happen and protocols are in place for such an event like this.

Airborne
Airborne
2 months ago

It’s honing to happen, I’m sure SOPs were in place to deal with this, as long as all recover after a shitty few days feeling ill (mine felt like a massive hangover) then all will be well!

James
James
2 months ago

Sadly inevitable with shore visits and allowing people on the ship when in ports.

Wonder if they have been making crew do PCR tests when coming back on board?

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
2 months ago
Reply to  James

Wont make any difference as it can take days for the results and up to 1 days to develop symptoms.

just got to live with it and fight with it if required.

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago
Reply to  James

PCR tests are a bit pointless to be hones for screening as they take ages and need labs.

lateral flow tests are easier but useless. They have undertaken a recall in the states.

It’s efficacy for detecting covid is only around 80% and that drops lower if an untrained individual does the swab ( to around 60%). It also only really defects virus close to peak viral load, so the individual is going t be infectious before a PCR test goes ping.

All in all a wasted fiver per test.

Last edited 2 months ago by Jonathan
Heidfirst
Heidfirst
2 months ago

Also, in further slightly unrelated news Diamond is alongside with a “defect” https://www.navylookout.com/hms-diamond-suffers-serious-defect-during-carrier-strike-group-deployment/

Esteban
Esteban
2 months ago
Reply to  Heidfirst

Major propulsion issue. Turbine related. Diamond will be going nowhere for a while.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
2 months ago
Reply to  Heidfirst

Hi Heidfirst, I saw that as well. Let’s hope it is something relatively easily fixed. Gas Turbines do fail. I was watching a programme about HMS Illustrious on her last deployment. She was due to join the USN for exercises when one of her turbines failed. The weather was unusually calm for the North Atlantic. So the ship stopped in the middle of the ocean so that the engineers could swap out the broken turbine and put in the spare that the ship apparently carried around with her..! It took about 24hours if I remember rightly. Hopefully it will be… Read more »

Andy G
Andy G
2 months ago
Reply to  Heidfirst

Engine failure after a brief encounter with Russia in the hot summertime Black Sea where she was running at over 30knts.

I am losing confidence that the Type 45 is suitable for places like the South China Sea.

Springer
Springer
2 months ago
Reply to  Andy G

Wrong ship, that was HMS Defender not HMS Diamond.

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago

This is actually a bit worrying, my understanding is they have 100 cases on the Queen Elizabeth. Not sure what the total present crew on the ship is but that’s a young fully vaccinated population ( vaccines work best on the young, worst on the old). If there are 1000 crew and they have 100 cases at present ( and the outbreak will still be browning) that means the vaccine efficacy in regards to preventing covid is below 90% efficacy. That’s very bad news from a public health point of view. Remember, hospitalisation rates are looking to be reduced by… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Jonathan
Trevor Holcroft
Trevor Holcroft
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

The point is you can catch it but it does not hospitalise you.

But why do you think 90% is a problem. My understanding is that 90% it pretty good. And in an enclosed space like a working ship, this must be difficult.

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago

Hi Trevor, 90% is still a public health nightmare, and a vaccination programme that does not significantly reduce case rates is unfortunately utter shit from a long term public health point of view, they don’t in normal times get licensed if you can still catch and spread the disease. As the whole point of vaccination programmes is to suppress case numbers/prevalence. If covid was not one of the most difficult to manage diseases we have come across the vaccines would never have been licensed with the big holes in efficacy ( I’m not saying don’t take the vaccine, please have… Read more »

TrevorH
TrevorH
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I’ve been double jabbed and the efficiency of the jab has been seen to be effective everywhere and there is generally high protection for transmitting it.

There will be booster in the autumn.

I generally get a flu jab every year.

I do not see where you get a health nightmare.

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago
Reply to  TrevorH

Thats fine, we can have the conversation on costs to our population and society in a couple of years, I would very much like your version of the truth to right ( I honestly do Because mines a bit horrible and puts me in a right downer about having to work 70 hour weeks all summer).

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

It doesn’t prevent you getting covid. It stops the disease putting you in hospital with severe symptoms where you need an ICU.
Lots of vaccinated people here with Covid. Most don’t even show symptoms or know they have it and only find out through random testing at work.

Had my 5th random test yesterday, results back in 8 hours and where negative.
Which means I can Brunch on Friday!

David Steeper
David Steeper
2 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Brunch ? Have to change my mental image of you did you use to be in Sex and the City  😀 

farouk
farouk
2 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

David,
I don’t know about the Navy, but in the army a large number of camps I have lived in would operate Brunch over the weekend, allowing for blokes who had been on the lash to not be confined to strict workday meal timings. It also allowed for only having 1 chef on duty instead of the usual cohort

Airborne
Airborne
2 months ago
Reply to  farouk

Spot on, always thought the weekend brunch was a rather good idea, and suited both the lads and the Army…..very civilised.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
2 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Bahrain Brunches on Fridays are the stuff of legend. All you can eat and drink in 4 hours… Then you start the after party…

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Hi gun, the whole issue with the low levels of protection around the vaccinations programme not preventing the disease is one of the key risks. In normal times we would not take forward a vaccinations programme that did not prevent the disease from occurring, as one of the key balances of risk around vaccinations programmes towards do it is that is suppresses the incidents of the disease. The main reason for this is need to suppress incidents/ case rates is around how vaccination programmes work and how a disease with high prevalence interacts with a population. The key weakness of… Read more »

TrevorH
TrevorH
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Dont agree with any of that.

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago
Reply to  TrevorH

Hi Trevor it’s fine that you don’t agree with my version of the truth, but just so you are aware I have three healthcare related degrees that are focused on clinical practice as well as public health and risk management. I have decades of experience of managing healthcare and public health risks, you can disagree with me, as all risks in public health are a balance of different risks and drivers ( I can do something to try and saves you that ends up harming you in a different way) . But I do know exactly what I’m talking about.

Last edited 2 months ago by Jonathan
TrevorH
TrevorH
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

And I dont accept your prognosis. If you are trying to say that 90% vaccination and, as we see further boosters, is a health nightmare then I am surprised we are all not already dead from all kind of diseases.

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago
Reply to  TrevorH

Hi Trevor in public health you have to get beyond personal risk and understand the tyranny of numbers. just as an example if you have a population of 50million and of that you manage to vaccinate 50% of your population that’s 25 million vaccinated and 25 million unprotected individuals. If we say your vaccination is 90% efficacious ( they are not by the way as there are lots of factors that degrade efficacy) you have a further 2.5 million people at risk of catching the disease. So that’s 27.5 million people….with a disease that has a natural R0 of somewhere… Read more »

simon
simon
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

On that basis how do you propose a way out then? Should we stay in lockdown for six months, a year, five years?

James
James
2 months ago
Reply to  simon

Look at Flu, a vaccine has never been created to eradicate that regardless of how many decades of trials to do so.

Sadly it looks like Covid is heading down the same path. If the flu vaccine is approved for use when it doesnt prevent it then the covid vaccine has been done on the same basis.

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago
Reply to  simon

Simon unfortunately the whole idea of a way out is a false premise, it’s a bit of a function of the the 21C mentality which in some ways is very positive but in other ways can cause problems especially when we come face an issue that is not something we have power over. The very simple truth is there is no way out of covid and in this way we have to take the lesson that king Canute gave to his court, human beings are not all powerful and when the tide comes in you don’t stand there and tell… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Jonathan
simon
simon
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I have to say I find unlikely that much of that will ever happen. Stumping up the money needs either tax rises or spending cuts else wereboth will be unpopular. Also trying to limit travel will be very unpopular as will trying to get everyone to ware masks in certain areas unless you have the police on the streets enforcing it and then you are going to be a legal nightmare. Also quite frankly the effect of lock downs on peoples metal health has not been good, I cant see there being much support for a constant cycle of lock… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago
Reply to  simon

Hi Simon, unfortunately it’s not going to be about what’s popular or not. What we would want or like is utterly irrelevant, this is nature not politics and we are not it’s masters, it is ours. Covid will do what covid does and unfortunately if we think living with it in some way means “carrying on Regardless” as before we are in for a very very bad time as the cycles of deaths and long term harm will stack up year on year and end up costing more and more. As I said before, you can ignore the tide all… Read more »

Dern
Dern
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Well except that after the Spanish Flu pandemic people adapted to it, and yes now some of us get annual flu shots, but most of us don’t.
Such will be life with Covid, doomsayers not withstanding.

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago
Reply to  Dern

Hi Dearn flu is a very different virus that Covid 19, trying to us it as an analogue is a bit of a red herring also you need to remember the effects of covid 19 will on top of flu. Most of the doom sayers im afraid are generally health care professionals and public health professionals very few of which have much good to say or are feeling very positive about their future working lives. couple of things about pandemic flu/ sessional flu vs Covid: 1) because of the way flu works, pandemic flu tends to circulate for a couple… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Jonathan
Dern
Dern
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I pretty much disagree with everything you’ve said there. We had a massive flu pandemic 100 years ago, and now we live with it. We’ve had a considerably less massive, and less deadly coronavirus pandemic now, and we will carry on as normal within a few years. You can sit there and try to act like anyone who doesn’t buy into your fear mongering is a naysayer and talk down to them in your condescending style, but it doesn’t change the fact that we have continued our normal life styles after every pandemic and this one will be no change.… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago
Reply to  Dern

Thanks for the insults there dern. I have not talked anyone one down, I’ve imparted my knowledge and understanding and experience of managing outbreaks and epidemics over several decades ( funnily including being on a gold command during a flu pandemic as a risk lead, so I sort of get how flu pandemic work). i won’t bother you anymore with why flu and covid are totally different diseases, work in different ways and have a completely different risk profile and outbreak management requirements. As for changing lifestyle if you think your lifestyle is the same as those who lived through… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Jonathan
TrevorH
TrevorH
2 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Tests trials show it does stop spread of infection.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
2 months ago
Reply to  TrevorH

Yes it has been seen to stop the spread but not in all cases.
The cases on QE are proof of that.

2 guys I work with, both double vaccinated caught it.
No symptoms, no adverse affects and only found out they had it during random testing which is a big requirement here.
Now both sat at home for 10 days to ensure they don’t pass it on to anyone else.

If you are vaccinated you are likely to show little if any effects if you get it.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
2 months ago
Reply to  TrevorH

Actually, if you think about it you have to ‘catch’ a virus for any vaccine to work. That is because a vaccine educates your immune system to the threat so it can respond. As your immune system is ‘inside’ you, you have to be infected before your immune system responds. So vaccines do not stop you ‘catching’ the virus, they enable you to deal with it better than you would have without the vaccine. So if you were likely die without a vaccine you might end up being very ill, if you were likely to be very ill without the… Read more »

David Steeper
David Steeper
2 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Mutations are absolutely normal and predictable the winter flu vaccinations are different each year because the virus mutates each year. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t worry but the Scientists are on known territory compared to 18 months ago. Maybe famous last words but we’re on top of this.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
2 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Hi David, Mutations are only predictable in the sense that they ‘will’ happen. Which mutations actually happen is not predictable. We can pre-identify those areas of a virus that would create problems and be on the look out for them once we mapped and understood the virus genetics. H0wever, then you are relying on the testing, tracking and genetic sequencing capabilities of the ‘host’ country. So the UK is in an especially good place when it comes to genetic sequencing capabilities, but our capacity, good though it is, can only really cope with what is going on in the UK.… Read more »

David Steeper
David Steeper
2 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Good points I think I’m just fed up with the last 18 months. Fingers crossed nothing we can’t cope with shows up. Cheers.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
2 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Me too. I’ve just had a cancer op so hopefully I am OK now, but we lost someone to COVID who was being treated for cancer. It was quick and shocking. So I really just don’t want to risk going backwards. I think we should at least keep face masks as a minimum. To be honest being fed up is better than getting ill with COVID. You have to be alive to be fed up after all. I fear the politicians are risking throwing all the efforts and suffering away for some half baked politically motivated rush to unlock. This… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Sorry the only thing predictable about mutations is: 1) They are biologically and mathematically certain to occur, the function of how many occur and how quickly is linked to the Speed of each generation and number of organisms in any generation. The Covid Virus have around a 3 day generation and numbers wise at peak infection each person could have up to 10-13 times more virons than people on the planet. 2) if a mutation allows an organism an advantage in reproduction over what came before it will become dominant. That means any mutation that is more transmissible or better… Read more »

John N
John N
2 months ago

Well that wasn’t too smart. Considering the task group is only at the beginning of the global deployment, it make you wonder what will happen in the coming months if shore leave is allowed to continue, and if the ports of call will allow crews from the ships to disembark. Here in Sydney we’ve just had ships from Japan, South Korea and the US visit, but due to Covid restrictions, the crews were not allowed to leave secure areas at Fleet Base East: https://news.defence.gov.au/international/foreign-warships-sydney-exercise The rules might appear to be very strict, but it protects both the visiting crews and… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
2 months ago
Reply to  John N

Pretty much the same here in BHR. Crew are not allowed out of the base area and mostly stay on the jetty in thir bubble. . To get on a ship you need proof of jab and a – ve test within 24 hours. Temp checks on embarkation, masks, gloves, only transit to and from the work area, sanitise etc…
Just been doing it today repairing a ship…

John N
John N
2 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Mate, here in Oz Exercise Talisman Sabre 21 has just started: https://news.defence.gov.au/capability/talisman-sabre-kicks-queensland TS21 includes more than 17,000 personnel from Australia and the US deploying across central and northeast Queensland and off the east coast of Australia. In addition to the US, forces from Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom will participate in TS21, and Australian-based personnel from India, Indonesia, France and Germany will observe the exercise. The approx 2,000 foreign military personnel who’ve arrived on shore have all gone through 14 day mandatory quarantine that all foreign visitors to Australia must do, without exception.… Read more »

David Steeper
David Steeper
2 months ago
Reply to  John N

Watch out for the bloody Huntsman spiders ! If you see one make yourself as big as possible and shout at the top of your voice.Whatever you do don’t run or they’ll see you as prey !
 😀 

Last edited 2 months ago by David Steeper
farouk
farouk
2 months ago

This months Airforces monthly has descriptive article on the carrier force. I’ve scanned it and will post it here , where it will self delete after 7 days:comment image

farouk
farouk
2 months ago
Reply to  farouk

comment image

farouk
farouk
2 months ago
Reply to  farouk

comment image

farouk
farouk
2 months ago
Reply to  farouk

comment image

farouk
farouk
2 months ago
Reply to  farouk

comment image

farouk
farouk
2 months ago
Reply to  farouk

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TrevorH
TrevorH
2 months ago
Reply to  farouk

The Chinese are going to harass ships in international waters?

AlexS
AlexS
2 months ago
Reply to  TrevorH

Yes, they don’t consider it international waters.

Andy Poulton
Andy Poulton
2 months ago

I love the idea of a ship running a track and trace system……

John Hartley
John Hartley
2 months ago

Slightly off topic but, re Carrier Strike Group. Watching Kaiser Report on RT yesterday, the guest was Dan Collins, an auto executive who lived & worked in China for 20 years & has a good idea of the official Chinese mindset. His parting comment was “Wolf diplomacy” is looking for an excuse to sink a foreign carrier off the seas of China. A way of sending a strong message without starting WW3 (they think). They would not risk sinking a USN carrier, but would be happy to sink an Australian, Japanese, S Korean, Indian or British carrier. The QE group… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS
2 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

But it will be wise to not go with T45 trough the strait. Imagine one stopped there, or having to go very slowly with the issue. Problem is that they are the carrier AAW defence…