Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

Royal Navy welcomes US Navy Admiral to Edinburgh Tattoo

25 August 2017
Director of the United States Naval Nuclear Propulsion Programme Admiral James F Caldwell was the Royal Navy’s guest of honour at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo on Thursday.

The visit, hosted by Chief of Materiel (Submarines) Vice Admiral Simon Lister and Flag Officer Scotland and Northern Ireland Rear Admiral John Weale, who is also Assistant Chief of Naval Staff Submarines and Rear Admiral Submarines, highlights the continued special military relationship between the UK and US as well as their shared commitment to NATO.

It was the last of six evenings at the Tattoo which saw The Royal Navy, which is proudly leading the military element of this year’s spectacular, entertain VIPs including The Prince of Wales, Duke of Cambridge and senior Naval officers from NATO partners and India, furthering those relationships.

Admiral Caldwell was welcomed on board HMS Somerset, berthed in Leith, along with Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon before travelling to Edinburgh Castle to take the salute at the Esplanade.

The US has a trusted friend in the UK – we are your strongest ally in Europe and NATO at a time of great uncertainty

Sir Michael Fallon

Sir Michael told the US last month: “The US has a trusted friend in the UK – we are your strongest ally in Europe and NATO at a time of great uncertainty.”

There are many examples of co-operation between the countries in military terms. The UK is America’s only Level 1 partner on the F35 programme, the world's largest single defence programme.

UK air crews have been working on US aircraft carriers for several years to gain vital common experience for the introduction of new state-of-the-art UK carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales

Thousands of British and American personnel serve together in the name of deterrence and freedom across NATO’s eastern flank, from British 5 Rifles troops in Estonia, to American Minnesota Guardsmen exercising in Lithuania, and soldiers of the US’s 2nd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment in Poland to members of the British Army’s 20 Brigade exercising in Romania.

Primarily operating in the air and on land, British forces have worked with our US allies to defeat Daesh.

We have served the global coalition with air strikes and helped train 55,000 Iraqi forces, meaning the so-called caliphate is being driven out of Mosul. Since the end of Fallujah ops on 30 June 2016, some 764 targets have been attacked as part of Mosul ops, 71% of UK strike effort since the liberation of Fallujah.

This month the UK/US joint hosted Exercise Saxon Warrior focussed on our ability to train together using advanced war fighting capabilities in challenging environments and was an important step in the generation of the UK Carrier Strike Group towards operational capability.

The supreme guarantee of the security of the NATO Allies is provided by the strategic nuclear forces of the Alliance, particularly those of the United States; the independent strategic nuclear forces of the United Kingdom and France, which have a deterrent role of their own, contribute to the overall deterrence and security of all Allies.

The US and UK operate a mingled stockpile of Trident missiles and certain non-nuclear components of the existing UK nuclear warhead are procured from the US on cost-effectiveness grounds.

Hundreds of personnel have been involved centre stage and behind the scenes to deliver the Tattoo throughout August.

From the Guard of Honour’s ceremonial contribution to the show, to the musical excellence of the Massed Bands of the Royal Marines; and from the team transforming the esplanade at Edinburgh Castle to resemble an aircraft carrier flight deck to those ferrying performers to and from the venue and looking after their welfare, all have undertaken their roles with enthusiasm, talent, professionalism and dedication. 

Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.