USS The Sullivans assumed air defence command duties for HMS Queen Elizabeth and the rest of the Carrier Strike Group to “demonstrate interoperability”.
It is important to note that according to the U.S. Navy, USS The Sullivans is operating under tactical control of UKCSG “providing multi-warfare defence to the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth”.
“The UKCSG’s transit of the Mediterranean Sea provided an opportunity to train and exercise with our NATO Allies and regional partners to include operations with Italian and French Navies and Air Forces.
The first deployment of the UK Carrier Strike Group – CSG21 – is a historic achievement and the culmination of a decade-long bilateral carrier cooperation effort to deepen U.S. – UK interoperability in an unprecedented way.
The Sullivans is the only U.S. ship operating as part of CSG21. U.S. Marine Corps F-35Bs, pilots, and support personnel are part of the air wing embarked on HMS Queen Elizabeth. CSG21 is comprised of HMS Queen Elizabeth, HMS Defender, HMS Diamond, HMS Kent, HMS Richmond, RFA Tidespring, RFA Fort Victoria, The Sullivans, HNLMS Evertsen, and a UK submarine.”
Cmdr. David Burkett, commanding officer of The Sullivans, was quoted as saying:
“Taking air defense commander duties was the culmination of our pre-deployment training with the Carrier Strike Group during Exercises Joint Warrior and Strike Warrior.”
"We Stick Together"
Having sailed from Portsmouth, I wanted to highlight the legacy behind the @USNavy USS The Sullivans. Alongside VMFA-211, they form the backbone of the #BlueGreenTeam's contribution to #CSG21. pic.twitter.com/3FewVKOr4w
— US Senior National Rep to UK Carrier Strike Group (@SenNatRepQNLZ) May 23, 2021