Trans-Atlantic bonds tighten as naval leaders meet in Washington

Hot on the heels of glowing praise for the Royal Navy from the US ambassador to Britain, the heads of the two nations’ navies have vowed to work ever closer together.

The ranking sailors of the UK – First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones – and the USA – Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson – met in Washington DC to discuss ongoing operations, training and exercises involving the two leading navies.

During a day of engagements that included discussions between senior leaders from both sides of the Atlantic, Admiral Jones and Richardson signed a statement reaffirming their commitment to continued co-operation, with a focus on the nuclear deterrent, carrier operations – HMS Queen Elizabeth will once again conduct fast jet training off the Eastern Seaboard of the USA this autumn – force development and the general ability of the two fleets to work together seamlessly.

“It is always such an honour and pleasure to meet with my friend and colleague Admiral Sir Philip Jones, as our two nations and navies share a very special relationship,” Admiral Richardson said.

It is always such an honour and pleasure to meet with my friend and colleague Admiral Sir Philip Jones, as our two nations and navies share a very special relationship.

Admiral John Richardson USN

“The First Sea Lord is an exceptional leader and is instrumental in reinvigorating operational capabilities that enabled the United States Navy and the Royal Navy to sail together across the globe providing security that supports our two nations’ shared strategic interests.”

Admiral Jones, who ends his three-year tenure as head of the Royal Navy next month when he hands over to Admiral Tony Radakin, received the Legion of Merit – the US military’s seventh highest decoration – from his American host in recognition of his leadership of the RN and especially its support of global operations which have had a significant impact in European and Middle Eastern waters and the Asia-Pacific region.

He joins a small number of Britons to receive the distinction, among them Royal Marine Maj Gen Rob Magowan and General Peter de la Billière who commanded British forces in the first Gulf War.

During his visit to the States, Admiral Jones also called in on NATO’s Allied Command Transformation, based in Norfolk, Virginia, to discuss the alliance’s work in the Atlantic theatre and present Long Service and Good Conduct medals to long-standing RN personnel, and has been discussing collaboration beneath the waves with US submarine forces.

First Sea Lord

Admiral Tony Radakin CB ADC

The First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff is the professional head of the entire Royal Navy. As the Chairman of the Navy Board, he is responsible to the Secretary of State for the fighting effectiveness, efficiency and morale of the Naval Service, and for supporting the management and direction of the Armed Forces.

The First Sea Lord is also a member of the Defence Council and of the Chiefs of Staff Committee. He supports the Secretary of State in the management and direction of the Armed Forces, and advises on maritime strategy and policy.

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