15 warships from HMS Queen Elizabeth’s Carrier Strike Group, HMS Albion’s Littoral Response Group and the USS Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group met up off the coast of Scotland.
The U.S. Navy say here that the concurrence of Strike Warrior and Ragnar Viking demonstrates the Alliance’s ability to coordinate Carrier Strike Group and ARG/MEU operations simultaneously.
“These maritime operations illustrate what makes NATO the most successful alliance in history”, they say.
“HMS Queen Elizabeth and the USS Iwo Jima represent a substantial concentration of maritime-based air power. With the involvement of warships from four NATO members, including HMS Albion, our rendezvous in the North Atlantic demonstrates the collective strength of the Alliance,” said Royal Navy Capt. Angus Essenhigh, commanding officer, HMS Queen Elizabeth.
“The fact that the Royal Navy is able to deploy a Littoral Response Group and a Carrier Strike Group simultaneously is also significant. Very few other navies can do this, and it underscores the United Kingdom’s substantial and enduring commitment to the security of Europe and the North Atlantic.”
Exercise Strike Warrior involves more than 20 warships, three submarines and 84 aircraft from 11 nations and is a final test for the Carrier Strike Group ahead of its first operational deployment to the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and Asia Pacific.
“As a final act of expert planning and coordination about 9,000 military members from several NATO nations converged on one spot in the North Atlantic today,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Darren Nelson, commodore, Amphibious Squadron Four.
“There is simply no substitute for U.S. presence in Europe and the ARG/MEU remains committed to support our allies and partners with our flexible maneuverable force ready to meet emerging missions or contingencies, humanitarian crisis, reassure our partners, enhance security, and ensure the free flow of commerce in the region.”
The U.S. Navy say in a release that Ragnar Viking is a multilateral operational exercise exhibiting High-end NATO cohesion, solidarity, and credibility in the Norwegian, North, and Baltic Seas.
“Ragnar Viking demonstrated long-range strike capabilities from the North Atlantic into Lithuania, amphibious landings in Norway and anti- submarine warfare, and surface action group operations to control the sea, air, and undersea domains, while projecting power.”
Poland and Lithuania are also supporting the exercise, demonstrating the collective power of NATO to operate in the dynamic maritime environment.
What is the Carrier Strike Group doing?
HMS Queen Elizabeth and her Carrier Strike Group are currently exercising alongside allied nations in and around the Scottish islands as part of the massive Strike Warrior exercise.
The Royal Navy say that Exercise Strike Warrior involves more than 20 warships, three submarines and 150 aircraft from 11 nations and is a final test for the Carrier Strike Group ahead of its first operational deployment to the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and Asia Pacific.
“The exercise, which will run for two weeks, will see the task group pitted against warships from NATO’s Standing Maritime Group 1 in waters off north-west Scotland to prove it is capable of undertaking high intensity operations against the most demanding adversaries. The culmination of Strike Warrior will see the Carrier Strike Group certified ready for deployment, at which point operational command will pass from the Royal Navy’s Fleet Commander, Vice Admiral Jerry Kyd, to the Chief of Joint Operations, Vice Admiral Sir Ben Key.”