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Pacific training for Carrier Strike Group as Japan visit comes to an end

The UK Carrier Strike Group met up with the Japanese Self-Defense Force as part of Exercise Pacific Crown. Picture: POPhot Jay Allen
10 September 2021
HMS Queen Elizabeth and some of her Carrier Strike Group escorts have topped off a busy period in Japan with joint exercises in the Pacific.

Britain’s flagship was joined by Type 45 destroyer HMS Defender, Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker RFA Tidespring and Dutch frigate HNLMS Evertsen for the training with Canadian ship HMCS Winnipeg and Japanese ships JS Ise and JS Izumo.

Exercise Pacific Crown saw F-35B stealth fighters embarked on HMS Queen Elizabeth perform a flypast with the Japanese F-35A variant of the jets while the ships conducted close manoeuvring training.

The three-day exercise comes after HMS Queen Elizabeth spent time alongside in Yokosuka.

Commodore Steven Moorhouse, Commander of the UK Carrier Strike Group, said: “Our visit to Japan is seen as a cornerstone of this deployment and a demonstration of the UK commitment to investing in our partnership with Japan.

“UK and Japanese vessels are working together in Exercise Pacific Crown, demonstrating our shared resolve, deepening our co-operation and enhancing the interoperability between our armed forces.

“These joint exercises help us to develop our tactics and procedures to allow us to pursue increasingly complex and integrated co-operation.”

Our visit to Japan is seen as a cornerstone of this deployment and a demonstration of the UK commitment to investing in our partnership with Japan.

Commodore Steven Moorhouse, Commander of the UK Carrier Strike Group

He added: “UK and Japan have a shared recognition of the importance of an open and free Indo-Pacific, which is why I am delighted to be here, bringing our cutting-edge capabilities to work alongside those of our Japanese partners to uphold peace and security in the region.”

HMS Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Yokosuka marked the first time a non-US aircraft carrier has visited the base since 1992.

While there, the ships hosted British ambassador to Japan Julia Longbottom along with the Fleet Commander of US 7th Fleet, Vice Admiral Karl Thomas US Navy, who visited members of the US Marine Corps embarked on board.

The UK Carrier Strike Group worked closely with 7th Fleet recently as they conducted joint F-35 jet flying serials together with USS Carl Vinson.

The next three days saw the ship host Japan Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi who came on board with senior military figures from the Japan Self-Defense Force.

He said: “It was the greatest honor to get on board HMS Queen Elizabeth. Japan and the UK share universal values such as democracy and the rule of law and also strategic benefits.”

 

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