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HMS Dragon works with American carrier group

HMS Dragon has completed valuable training with an American Carrier Strike Group off the east coast of the United States.

The Type 45 destroyer is on deployment as part of the HMS Queen Elizabeth’s Carrier Strike Group, but took the chance to train with the Americans and bring back vital knowledge to the UK’s carrier missions.

Portsmouth-based Dragon brought her world-class air defence capabilities to the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, while Commodore Mike Utley, Commander Carrier Strike Group, and HMS Queen Elizabeth’s Commanding Officer, Captain Steve Moorhouse, visited the American carrier to share knowledge and reaffirm bonds between the two nations.

“The US Navy and US Marine Corps have provided extraordinary support to the United Kingdom as we regenerate our Carrier Strike capability,” said Utley.

“And they continue to do so as we prepare to conduct operational tests with the British F-35B Lightning jets on board our new aircraft carrier, here in the United States, for the first time.”

Utley also discussed the close relationship between the two navies and the value of working together.

“To be here today, operating both the HMS Queen Elizabeth Carrier Strike Group and the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group in such close proximity, demonstrates just how closely aligned our two nations are,” Utley added.

The US Navy and US Marine Corps have provided extraordinary support to the United Kingdom as we regenerate our Carrier Strike capability

Commodore Mike Utley

“We share the same values and concerns of the threats we face around the world. Our combined capability is potent; being able to train together here today, as we might fight together in the future is invaluable not only to our Sailors, but to the nations we jointly seek to protect.”

HMS Dragon will now return to her post alongside HMS Queen Elizabeth on the Westlant 19 deployment.

There, she will be joined by the other ships of the Carrier Strike Group, HMS Northumberland and RFA Tideforce.

The group will soon be running trials with the UK’s F35 Lightning fighter jets for the first time.

On top of Dragon’s training, Merlins from 845 Naval Air Squadron landed on the deck of the USS Dwight D Eisenhower – a first for the Commando Helicopter Force fliers of 845.

Rear Admiral Paul Schlise, commander, Carrier Strike Group Ten, was pleased for the opportunity to train with UK forces.
“It’s been an honour to host Commodore Utley and Capt Moorhouse aboard the Mighty Ike,” said Schlise.

“The US Navy’s partnership with the Royal Navy transcends time and generations of Sailors and leaders who’ve forged an alliance that makes us all stronger and more secure.

“This opportunity to train and operate with elements of the Queen Elizabeth Strike Group is the latest chapter of a book still being written. Our shared commitment to global maritime security and determination to stand against those who would threaten it is the foundation of our alliance.”

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