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Head of US Navy reaffirms importance of Royal Navy on Scotland visit

22 August 2022
The head of the US Navy took the salute at one of the world’s most famous military public spectacles during a high-level visit to the UK.

Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Gilday was Guest of Honour of the Royal Navy at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, attending the stunning event after meetings with his UK opposite number, First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Ben Key – including a visit to the home of the Submarine Service.

HM Naval Base Clyde at Faslane has also become a key logistical base for US warships and especially submarines when operating in European waters.

The US visitor was shown Valiant jetty, specially-built to support operations by the latest Astute-class Royal Navy attack submarines and toured one of the cutting-edge boats before being presented with the Royal Navy’s Dolphin brooch – the insignia worn by all British submariners to show they are qualified and safe to play their part within the elite group of men and women who serve beneath the waves.

During his visit to the UK, Admiral Gilday called in on the new Royal-US Navy joint technology hub, established between the two navies in London in 2020. The Tech Bridge fosters closer working relationships and exploits technology and equipment to the benefit of both allied navies, especially in the realm of crewless systems.

After high-level talks at the UK Ministry of Defence’s headquarters, the senior officers headed to Scotland, first to Faslane, then on to the tattoo, which has returned to Edinburgh after a three-year enforced break caused by the COVID pandemic.

“It’s been fantastic to see Admiral Mike Gilday again and to be able to host him here in the UK,” said Admiral Key. “We’ve renewed our friendship and talked about the invaluable work that our two navies are doing. Around the world our sailors serve together with our allies and partners, continuing our shared national endeavour to promote peace.

“After two years away, it’s great to be back at the Tattoo. I congratulate and thank all the performers and the organisers for a truly fantastic show with all the ceremony and pageantry that the Tattoo is famous for.”

We’ve renewed our friendship and talked about the invaluable work that our two navies are doing. Around the world our sailors serve together with our allies and partners, continuing our shared national endeavour to promote peace.

Admiral Key

Admiral Gilday said of the visit: “Our maritime partnership is the foundation of our mutual prosperity and security, and my travel here provides a valuable opportunity to meet with military and government leaders to further discuss our shared goals and further expand our interchangeability.”

“The strength of our relationship reflects our common democratic ideals and values. Our greatest strength lies in our unity, and together we will continue to defend freedom, preserve economic prosperity, and keep the seas open and free."

Over 900 performers from across the globe are taking part in the spectacular show which is running at Edinburgh Castle Esplanade from August 5th to 27th.

The theme of the 2022 Tattoo is “Voices”, a celebration of expression, drawing inspiration from people across the globe who, despite physical separation, continue to connect creatively through song, spoken word, music and dance.

Performers at the event include the New Zealand Army Band, the US Army Field Band, the US Air Force Honour Guard Drill Team, the Top-Secret Drum Corps from Switzerland, and the Banda Monumental de Mexico.

The show will also include long-term favourites such as the Massed Pipes and Drums, the Tattoo Pipes and Drums, the Tattoo Dancers, and Tattoo Fiddlers. 

As well as putting on a breath-taking show, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo also raises thousands of pounds for service charities, with donations given to The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC), ABF – The Soldiers’ Charity, and The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.

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