UK Carrier Strike Group heads off on historic deployment after royal visit

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The 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier recently completed demanding training to make sure her and the ships that will accompany her on her world mission are ready for any eventuality.

HMS Queen Elizabeth has set sail from Portsmouth for her maiden operational deployment at the heart of the UK’s Carrier Strike Group after a farewell visit from Her Majesty The Queen.

Following the exercises off the Scottish coastline, the ships of the Carrier Strike Group dispersed briefly before sailing for their deployment, which will take them to Japan and back over the next seven months.

The mighty 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier will travel some 26,000 nautical miles as she sails towards the Indo-Pacific region, visiting India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Singapore.

Commodore Stephen Moorhouse said:

“This is an amazing capability and pulling that all together with our international partners is a real statement that the Royal Navy is very much in the premier league.

“The deployment takes us through the Mediterranean, the Middle East then operating with key partners in the Indo-Pacific just shows the Royal Navy has an ambition to be active on the global stage and operate wherever our politicians may feel fit.”

Colonel Simon Doran, the senior US representative, said the deployment had been in planning for more than 10 years. He said:

“It sends a message to potential adversaries, but also to our allies to reinforce should they ever be needed, we will be there, we generally always fight together so to deploy together really helps strengthen our relationship.”

USS THE SULLIVANS sailing past Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth UK. PO PHOT Dave Jenkins  
Families gather at Round Tower in Portsmouth, two hours before HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH sails past. LPhot Rory Arnold
Pictured here are ships company of HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH working part of ship as the ship sails from Portsmouth for Op Fortis. LPhot Unaisi Luke 
Pictured here are ships company of HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH waving to familiy on South Sea Beach and Round Tower as the ship sails from Portsmouth for Op Fortis. LPhot Unaisi Luke  

©UK Ministry of Defence CROWN COPYRIGHT

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