Feathered wings have touched down on the deck of aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.
The aircraft carrier has been joined by a pigeon, they’re not trying to trace the owner.
Whilst we conduct fixed wing flying, it seems a feathered wing flyer has also joined us.
Please RT so we can find the owner – meanwhile she is being well looked after by our aircraft/avian handlers.#PauleyTheCarrierQueen ?#RacingPigeons #Pigeons .@Natures_Voice #Pauley pic.twitter.com/VMdgY0nWsE
— HMS Queen Elizabeth?? (@HMSQNLZ) June 14, 2020
The vessel is currently conducting carrier sea training with F-35B jets from 617 Squadron.
These are ?? #F35 fighter jets, flown by Operational Pilots & maintained by an Operational Crew.
Fused with UK Carrier Strike Battlestaff on a ?? Aircraft Carrier operated by a trained crew.
This is final training on how we will fight; and win.
— HMS Queen Elizabeth?? (@HMSQNLZ) June 9, 2020
According to the Royal Navy, the aim is to demonstrate that the jets can successfully defend the aircraft carrier by delivering combat air patrols – launching from the ship to conduct strike missions against a target – and being ready to take off at short notice.
According to a statement:
“After the initial qualification period, 617 Squadron will test their ability to work with Portsmouth-based HMS Queen Elizabeth and Merlin helicopters of Culdrose-based 820 Naval Air Squadron by conducting a number of complex training missions. This is all in preparation for their second embarkation later in the year when the squadron will join the carrier and her task group for a large multinational training exercise with US, European and NATO partners. The Royal Navy is transforming into a force centred around carrier strike – supporting the ships as they conduct carrier strike missions, enforce no-fly zones, deploy Royal Marine Commandos, deliver humanitarian aid, and build international partnerships with our allies.”
HMS Queen Elizabeth will now enter an intense period of flying having just successfully completed four weeks of basic sea training before returning to Portsmouth later this month.