Photo essay: HMS Queen Elizabeth – Westlant 19 deployment – Part 4
After the arrival of jets onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth in October, the Operational Test (OT-1) flying programme got into full swing. This photo essay covers the UK Carrier Strike Group during this period which was followed by diplomatic visits to the United States.
On completion of the main flying programme, the 617 Squadron jets left the ship and returned home across the Atlantic to RAF Marham. The UK Carrier Strike Group then went its separate ways to ports on the eastern seaboard of the US for important diplomatic visits. QE arrived in Naval Station Norfolk with RFA Tideforce to offload stores and personnel before heading north up Chesapeake Bay to anchor off Annapolis on 20th November.
HMS Dragon arrived in New York and hosted a reception on behalf of the UK Mission to the United Nations to mark Britain having the presidency of the UN Security Council for November. HMS Northumberland arrived in Boston on 16th November for a week-long visit at the Charlestown Navy Yard berthed alongside the USS Constitution.
HMS Dragon detached from the Westlant19 group and arrived for a visit to New York on 16th November.
Inventor Richard Browning of Take on Gravity demonstrates his jet suit to American guests arriving by boat for visit to HMS Queen Elizabeth. (Original footage: UK Military & Defence Staff in the US)
On 21st November, the second Atlantic Future Forum was held onboard which brought together leaders in government, military and industry from both sides of the Atlantic to address growing challenges. The theme this year was The Future We Choose. Topics on the agenda covered UK Carrier Strike – an Industrial Perspective, cyber threats, the rapid pace of technological development, AI, climate change and big data. New challenges posed by non-state actors and hostile states using new technologies to threaten our security were examined and how we can fight back. A presentation was made by Team Artemis – a new transatlantic team of defence personnel, brought together to look at ways the UK and US work together to stay ahead of the competition when it comes to space technology.
HMS Queen Elizabeth is due home in Portsmouth by mid-December where she will join her sister ship, HMS Prince of Wales, together in their homeport for the first time.
Images are MOD Crown Copyright unless otherwise credited. RN photographers onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth for this deployment were LPhot Kyle Heller and LPhot Daniel Shepherd.