A post written by the Ministry of Defence detailing the upcoming deployment of HMS Queen Elizabeth and her strike group mentioned a Dutch warship, that mention has now been removed.

Two sections of a post titled ‘UK Carrier Strike Group Explained‘ was removed.

The first stated:

“The group includes NATO’s most sophisticated destroyers coming together from the Royal Navy, the US Navy and the Dutch Navy.”

The second stated:

“The group includes NATO’s most sophisticated destroyers — the Royal Navy’s Type 45s HMS Diamond and HMS Defender and US Navy Arleigh Burke-class USS The Sullivans as well as frigates HMS Northumberland and HMS Kent from the UK and the Dutch Navy’s HNLMS Evertsen.”

Worth noting is that the post has now been “unlisted” which means that only people with the link can see it.

The post now reads:

“The Carrier Strike Group will be complemented by US Marine Corps and US Navy personnel and equipment. This includes a detachment of US Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II aircraft and the US Navy’s destroyer, USS The Sullivans.”

There is now no mention of a Dutch vessel and oddly, a graphic featured in the original post has now been removed. The graphic is displayed below and appeared originally to detail how the Carrier Strike Group would operate.

The units that could be involved in the upcoming Carrier Strike Group 2021 deployment.

Could it have been removed as it showed the Dutch vessel?

HNLMS Evertsen was present last year as the Carrier Strike Group worked up.

British Carrier Strike Group to deploy to Pacific next year

Could this have happened as it hadn’t yet been announced officially?

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Sounds like someone got their panties in a twist over the initial press release.

Daniele Mandelli

Would be a shame as I’d want the Dutch with us. Firm allies.


Hi Danielle,

I’ll second that. May be the precise details are still being worked out with Holland.

Cheers CR


My thoughts exactly, the Cloggies are a firm and reliable friend. Hopefully they can still provide an asset, but I can imagine they are in the same state as we are….never enough kit or people.


Or due to the EUs cosying up to. Nina it was deemed too provocative.

Trevor G

Sounds about right to me.


This. Merkel’s investment deal was probably at risk.


HMNLS Evertsen was part of the carrier group during NATO excercises last October. Perhaps the Navy press office got confused.

The US press release didnt mention the dutch taking part.

Last edited 1 month ago by Watcherzero

The Dutch have little regard for the British – they are at a political level entirely wedded to the EU and Mark Rutte is firmly anti-British. Why the British press continue to mark them up as ”allies” I have no idea – it certainly is not reciprocated here by the Dutch political class.

Sitting in the UK you probably do not understand this but sitting here in NL I can assure you it’s correct!


It’s recent though, probably down to their resentment of our Brexit. The UKNLAF operated very well for years.


Yep – funny that – actually not. Even before the brexit debate and execution, the Dutch were always very ambivilent regarding the huge country sitting 100kms from them – they just do not reciprocate the fawning UK view which as I say consistently comes from the UK press and is soaked up by the Brits.

Sure the Korps Mariniers are linked closely to the RM and this has been the case for many years and will no doubt continue – it’s a force multiplier based on a Norwegian defence strategy. However politically, and amongst the public – forget it.

R Bos

I am dutch and the EU is a death scentence. So i admire the British and you should be glad with the brexit. You are no longer paying for the weaker countries or the early retirements of italians.

Robert Blay

UK and Dutch Armed Forces have close military relationships that go beyond political parties and individual leaders and politicians.


I suspect it’s probably more simple and the Dutch don’t have a spare ship due to other priorities or repairs etc

Robert Blay

Yes, probably. Vessel availability can be a tough call for many Navy’s. We are pretty spoilt with what the RN can achieve with the assets available.


Billythefish out of water perhaps?

4th watch

Rutte just resigned didn’t he.


From the actual MOD(Found in the RN sub section) article which is still on line:

She will be one vessel in the ring of steel around the 65,000-tonne Royal Navy flagship; the full composition of Carrier Strike Group 21 will be announced before the force sets sail.

Maybe the answer lays there.


Often Brits suck up to Europeans and are fond of them which is naive and not reciprocal, only if you lived in EU states do you realise the resentment against Britain. And now with brexit in recent travels sense Britphobia on the continent among the media and those that vote for mainstream political parties


Speaking as someone who has lived in EU states, Germany, Italy and Sweden to be precise, I didn’t experience resentment towards me or the UK and I lived in Germany through the Brexit referendum and the immediate aftermath. There were plenty of friendly jibes and a lot of questions, but no resentment.

Can you point to examples?

Even if there are instances as you describe, Brexit has only just happened, it will take years for things to normalise, including people’s view on it. No I didn’t vote for it BTW.

Robert Blay

I agree. I work with Germans and Danish and Dutch on a daily basis, and haven’t witnessed any anti British resentment beyond a bit of leg pulling and good natured humour.


This has been my experience too.
I lived in France, and spent a lot of the “Brexit years” working in Germany but with a very international workforce. I’ve not experienced anything worse than the standard national jibes and jokes that we would fire at them too- nothing truly anti-British.
They were certainly largely baffled by our decision to leave the EU, and they warned that we shouldn’t expect for things to be as smooth as before trade wise, but they didn’t get angry or offensive about it.


In fact, the Brexit is mostly welcommed by European, because the brits was never really “European”.
It’s like the return of the natural state between the UK and continent.
A lot of people are like me and think it would be better for all of us to be a good friend without the EU veil, we dont need to share the star banner to be friend.

Everyone can follow his way and can be there under binational/multinational/NATO missions.

NB: In the EU we are more against the Polish than the brits…

Last edited 1 month ago by Hermes

It is important for me as a member of an EU country that Brexit occurred, Competition between political systems are essential and as a term of comparison.
If UK goes well and improves we can slap our own politicians. Instead if we are in same bandwagon we can go all together into some very unwise ideas…For that is important that UK will not be just UE Mk2 regarding policy. Needs to be different.

Gavin Gordon

Didn’t note resentment among the ordinary folk travelling around, quite reverse. Politicans, well a different breed.

Daniele Mandelli

Hmmm. I have Italian family and I can assure you they have no issues with the UK whatsoever. Many of them are actually desperate to come and work in the UK as jobs are so hard to come by in Italy. And of course the youngsters are all desperate to learn English.

Brits do not suck up to Europeans, we are Europeans. I might be being pedantic there, sorry.


Well said Danielle, My Dad worked in Italy for years and made some life long friends right up until he passed away. They are lovely people I we honey mooned in Italy – fantastic place. I think most Europeans are saddened that the UK has left the EU as am I, but we made are decision and it is time to deal with the situation as is and continue to work with our friends and Allies in Europe and beyond as we face a rapidly changing and increasingly dangerous global geopolitical situation. As I said above it could just be… Read more »


Love Italy, I first visited when I was selected for an all arms climbing exercise to climb Mont Blanc, spent 3 weeks in Capel Curig , then a 6 weeks stint in Courmayeur Italy , had a fantastic time no issues whatsoever, one my mates was posted to Naples a few years back and so I went to spend a fortnight with her. Whilst she went to work I visited the sites, again no issues. Been back a number of times never an issue. Can’t say the same for Spain, Portugal or France where I kept getting stopped by the… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

where I kept getting stopped by the police and asked for my passport.”

Pretty outrageous, Farouk.

Mark Boulton

I second that. I know it’s hardly a large sample, but I remember going on holiday to the northern Netherlands as a teenager and assumed that (at the very least) the Dutch would have an affinity/be grateful for our liberating efforts during the war. The exact opposite was true. Now bear in mind, this was with a generation that has grown up in the EU and not the older generation who lived through the war. But even still…


My experiences are totally different in Holland. Go every year, and have been since I was 18 (obviously with the odd gap due to ops/etc) up to Arnhem and Oosterbek and have never met friendlier, appreciative and genuine people. They like us, we like them, and their hospitality is second to none. Of course there will be bell ends and political biases, but generally great people who seem genuine.


I was based in Dusseldorf and went across the border often, never had an issue, in fact once when I went with German friends and I was speaking German to them, I noticed the hostility, then when I asked for something in English and the lady replied “English?” and I answered yes, her whole tone change. Done Nijmegen twice, in uniform and the Dutch loved us.


Thought we were Europians as well? Politics will divide people but generally I’ve always found other Europeans friendly, quite genuine and aside from a bit of banter, not an issue.


Excuse the spelling, fingers seem to have got a life of their own…..

David Barry

The Czechs dislike us for our acquiescence in the annexation of the studetenland but they don’t hate us and the Latvian civil service disliked us for taking all their best graduates, they also did not hate us. I lived in both countries for several years. As to the Dutch, you have your thoughts.


Do the embedded USMC F-35B’s also use the QE ski-ramp to take off?
Any feedback if they do?


Yes they do, there are plenty of images online.

USMC F35B.jpg

They had to learn to do so though & no doubt they fed back experience into their system for consideration as to whether it is was something that they should consider adopting for future ships.


Seems unlikely. The USMC has operated Harriers for a long time, and neither they nor the USN at large thought it was worth compromising the primary amphibious assault role of their LHAs for increased effectiveness of their limited fighter complements.

I find it odd the Japanese have decided against ramps though. The Yanks you can understand, what with having CATOBAR carriers for fighters, but the JMSDF is purposefully choosing to handicap their primary air defence component.


True but it is a changing world (e.g. the USMC are divesting all their tanks) & the USN/USMC are investigating the Lightning Carrier concept (presumably more like America class than Wasp).


The decision by the new Commandant of the Marine Corps to divest the Corps of its tanks and the idea that the Marines could best assist the US Navy by seizing small islands in the South China Sea and disrupting the Chinese Navy has not won universal acclaim in the Marine Corps or in the Pentagon. Quite frankly, it smacks of the Marines trying to justify their rather oversized share of the US defense budget. The US Navy needs to expand and needs money to do it. Don’t be surprised if the new SecDef takes a close hard look at… Read more »


It’s what happens when you give one branch basically all of the high profile roles. Whoever got the USMC the ceremonial roles like guarding the President and such really did them a favour.

It’s like the cap badge mafia over here. The Army doesn’t necessarily want to have so many infantry battalions, but cutting units like the Guards or even one or two of the understrength Scottish units would be political suicide.

Gavin Gordon

Admittedly pre-Brexit, but did not pick up on any anti-British feeling among the European public travelling around, quite the reverse. This in contrast to the politicians who, for instance, clearly had it in for Cameron, himself a Europhile who perhaps did not quite toe the line. Rutte’s resigned, though, as I understand?


The entire Dutch government resigned with him due to a child benefit scandal. You wouldn’t have thought this would have caused their withdrawal from the carrier group though, not until their government and PM has been replaced anyway. Could be due to EU pressure and not wanting to offend China, or just that the Dutch can’t spare the ship for so long.


Your comment that ‘The EU’ do not want to antagonize China tells us all we need to know about why we were right to leave the EU… an undemocratic institution, like China.


What um mean ‘we’ kemosabe?

David Barry

Er, you need need to give your head a massive wobble; the EU have been far more stringent against China than Blojo has, or May for that matter.


“The Dutch have little regard for the British” Really? Does that mean that EVERY Dutch person has little regard for EVERY British person? Some of my very best friends are/have been Dutch and i have not found that sentiment. Remember the rousing singing and cheering of La Marseillaise at the Proms during the terrorist attacks in Paris? That does not mean that EVERY Brit loves France. I suppose what I am trying to say is…meaningless generalisations!


The lone problem for European, are the londonians.
But in fact, it’s the same with parisians (Probably the worst, and I say that as a french…) or berliners… So…


Vive la France! Vive L’Entente cordiale mon ami !


I’m not sure if the Dutch would deploy a ship to the South China Seas. What I would like to see if possible is a Aus or Japanese destroyer working with the group. If Japan has any F35Bs they could get some experiance working of a large flat top. Pity CrowsNest is not fully operational as Japan and Aus, possibly S.Korea could have an interest.


HI Ron,

I like your suggestion of different allies joining the group at different phases of the deployment. I thought that was the original plan, but prehaps it was the press suggesting it and have not heard anything recently. If that was the plan then the Dutch could be part of the escort into the Med or perhaps the Red Sea and then an RAN vessel join as the CSG transits through the Indian Ocean.

Anyone know if the Indian Navy is going to exercise with the CSG?

Cheers CR


Possibly a good test could be the Indian CSG vs the RN CSG in a 10 day scenario where the tasks get harder over the period.


Hi Ron, An exercise on that scale would take significant discussion and planning particularly as it is an infrequent occurance between the RN and Indian Navy and would need political agreement first – just to muddy the waters. So I would be very pleasantly surprised if we saw such an exercise on this trip, but you never know until after the event. It would be great to see something like that in the future perhaps once the RN carriers have achieved FOC. I do think we need to get much closer to India has she has the numbers and economic… Read more »

Ryan Brewis

It would certainly be a demonstration of intent. Even if the Dutch frigate peeled off at the Strait of Hormuz for an anti-piracy patrol and a couple of Indian Navy ships joined near to India for an exercise protecting a carrier or something then they handed off to an Aussie and/or JMSDF destroyer or two. One can hope and wish but it probably won’t happen.


Hi Ryan,

I couldn’t agree more. Certainly, there has been a lot of diplomancy around this deployment dating back to when Boris was Foreign Secretary, so who knows.

I would be surprised if the RAN didn’t at least cruise with the CSG whilst it was in the area – which given the size of Aussie there’s no lack of opportunity! Same goes for the Indian Navy as well, given the size of the Indian Ocean.

Cheers CR


There has never been any suggestion that a Dutch ship, or any none RN ship, would involve the whole deployment, has there?


No, I agree. I hope that I did not imply that is so sorry.


Was not trying to make an issue of it. Was just curious.
One wonders when the USN ship will join.
And it will be interesting to see what the diplomatic link ups will be alongside the deployment.


No problem you made a good and fair point.

As for the diplomatic link ups, from what I understand there is to be at least one combined exersise and that is with the Aussies, Kiwis, Malaysia and Singapore Ex Bersama Lama. Could be a good start with friendly nation to build on.

barry white

Ron I know im going back a long time but i was in a an Anglo/Dutch task group in the early 70s I was on RFA Tidespring at the time and we embarked a Dutch helo with all the groundcrew with it as she stayed on us almost 85% of the deployment The only times the Dutch ships left us was when we pulled into Cape Town and then again as we pulled into Singers they disembarked to go into Surabaya 10 months of a great trip great ports and above all great people Just remember that the Dutch have… Read more »


God, that is going back some, was that not the days when we had a navy with ships and subs to go where we wanted. I remember my first week in Pompey, I was still a kid on a one week RN see if you like it week in 78, cruisers, destroyers, O+P class and enough green decked frigates to keep your feet dry. I was accomadated on the old Maidstone. Still got the scar on my head from not ducking going through a hatch. Don’t worry about the comment on Dutch colonies, I have done some work on the… Read more »

Meirion X

Japan has Not got any F-35Bs yet. But they do have plans to procure them a few years down the line.


As I was digging around to get info on old RN naval bases for an article I’m writing I was looking into Singapore. Here I came across a small tit bit. It seems that the BDSSU in Singapore is gearing up for the the CSG participation in the Five Power Defence Agreement Ex Bersama Lama which would include Aus/NZ/Malaya and Singapore. First I did not even know that we had such an agreement, second I think the 30-50 staff at the base would need some extra manpower and third, it would be good again to see a proper RN task… Read more »


No doubt more Brexit sulking from the EU.


Still dont get why we are sending most of the RN willingly in range of the worlds largest air force (to quote Dame Judi Dench).
If we wanted a serious willy-waving session and yank a few chains, I would have sent it to the South Atlantic via Gibraltar…


Are you suggesting China is going to declare war on us?
I would like to see one of our carriers go to Gib and the Falklands, and going to the Med at some point they would have to go past Gib.
Being selfish (because I go there regularly for holidays) I’d like to see them in Madeira on the way to the South Atlantic.


Very odd. It was officially announced on 24 October 2018 (during an official visit of the King and Queen of the Netherlands to the UK) that a Dutch warship would accompany QE on her first deployment in 2021. It was widely reported at the time, e.g.:  


Either the Dutch have recently changed their mind (Pressure from China? Brexit? Covid? Other?), or maybe they want to do a high profile re-announcement as George seems to be suggesting.

Mike O

A vessel from the Netherlands would be great and I hope it still happens. Despite being separate political entities the EU and the UK can still show a united front on many issues. I would really like to see Canadian and Australian vessels join. At least for the South China Sea transit.

I am assuming Japanese and maybe South Korean vessels will be involved.


The EU is not involved everywhere.
A lot of binational treaties pass over the brexit. (Like Lancaster House for France and UK).
It’s especially the case between France and UK since we share the same global needs and problems. And are regularly engaged together.
(The strikes in Syria in 2018 are the example)