HMS Kent joins US carrier battle group in the Gulf

Portsmouth-based frigate HMS Kent joined forces with the might that is a US Navy carrier strike group when she linked up with the USS Carl Vinson in the Gulf.

The Type 23 has also been helping our French allies during her first major work period upon arrival in the Middle East.

Pictured is an awesome display of naval firepower under the still-potent winter sun in the Gulf. Yes, that’s right it’s the impressive sight of a Type 23 frigate – embodied here by Her Majesty’s Ship Kent – with a Lynx Mk8 on her flight deck.

Oh, and in the foreground there’s an impressive array of F/A 18C Hornets of Strike Fighter Squadron 94 – the Mighty Shrikes – and EA-18G Growlers of Electronic Attack Squadron 139 – the Cougars – preparing to carry out missions in support of Operation Inherent Resolve from the deck of USS Carl Vinson.

Last week we brought you HMS Defender working with the Vinson, this week it’s the Portsmouth-based frigate which has recently arrived in the region.

The Vinson is carrying out strikes against Islamic State forces as well as supporting broader efforts to ensure security at sea in the Middle Sea as flagship of the US Navy’s Carrier Strike Group One: one flat-top, one cruiser, four destroyers, 49 fast jets, more than 20 helicopters, four AWACs early warning aircraft and much more – basically the most powerful naval surface group on the Seven Seas.

Among those four destroyers, France’s FS Jean Bart… which received a little assistance courtesy of Kent and some Anglo-French interoperabilité.

When the Jean Bart’s Panther helicopter was rendered out of action and needed a replacement part, Kent stepped in to help out.

The frigate picked up the piece of kit when she stopped off in Abu Dhabi recently, then flew it across in her Lynx – whose observer is French exchange officer Lt Thomas Ribot – when Kent was within range of the carrier group.

Kent has been east of Suez for about a month, taking over from her sister HMS Northumberland in the relentless effort to prevent pirates, smugglers, terrorists and drug runners using the maritime highways of the Middle East.

Pictures courtesy of Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Alex King US Navy and Marine Nationale