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‘No closer ally’ – head of US Navy praises Royal Navy after talks with First Sea Lord

‘No closer ally’ – head of US Navy praises Royal Navy after talks with First Sea Lord
21 October 2022
The heads of the US Navy, US Marine Corps and Royal Navy have pledged ever closer cooperation after a key meeting in Washington reaffirming the close bond between our maritime forces.

Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Mike Gilday, Commandant Marine Corps, General David Berger, and First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Ben Key, met on the eve of the anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar to discuss operations and strategy as well as progress on closer cooperation over the next two years.

They are resolved to press ahead with joint operations, harnessing the white heat of the two nations’ technology, working seamlessly side-by-side wherever they deploy around the globe and delivering combined seapower.

And that seamless cooperation fully embraces the US Marine Corps who will continue to work, train and develop tactics and ideas with the Royal Marines.

“It is a matter of enormous pride for me to visit the US and talk to my great friends and colleagues Admiral Mike Gilday and General David Berger. Once again we have reaffirmed the very close relationship between our two Nations and two Navies and our Marines,” said Admiral Key.

“We have refreshed our long-standing commitment for us to work collaboratively across the world, from the Euro-Atlantic to the Indo-Pacific Regions, and to stand together to safeguard the use of the global maritime commons upon which our combined security and prosperity depend.”

The discussions followed a call by Admiral Gilday last month for the United States and UK to lead the way in meeting the challenge posed by Russia and China and maintaining free navigation of the oceans.

“Our relationship with the Royal Navy is the bedrock of enduring maritime security, and a key enabler of integrated all-domain naval power,” said Admiral Gilday.

“Nothing our armed forces accomplish day-in and day-out happens without working alongside close allies, and the US Navy has no closer ally than Admiral Key.”

On the technological front, the navies have set up a joint think-tank, the Tech Bridge, to allow experts from both nations to share ideas and the latest equipment to the benefit of both.

And operationally, both navies work side-by-side on a daily basis in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Middle East, while last year American personnel and equipment were vital to the success of HMS Queen Elizabeth’s maiden deployment, which also underscored the UK’s renewed interest in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

A US destroyer was attached to the carrier strike group throughout the six-month mission to the Indo-Pacific region, while F-35 Lightning jets from the US Marine Corps shared the carrier’s flight deck and hangar with those of the RAF and Fleet Air Arm.

Both navies were delighted with the result of the deployment – so much so they are looking at even greater cooperation, not just on carrier strike missions, but also dominating the battlespace beneath the waves and amphibious/littoral operations.

In addition, the Royal Navy is now a regular participant in the US’ biggest ‘peace deployment’ in the region, Pacific Partnership; patrol ships HMS Tamar and Spey take part in exercises almost monthly with the US Navy as part of their five-year mission in the region; Royal Marines make frequent use of US exercise areas, while the UK’s commando forces have helped the US Marine Corps to develop cold weather warfare skills in the High North.

“The Marine Corps always welcomes opportunities to partner with our allies in the naval forces,” said General Berger. “I look forward to continued dialogue and collaboration with the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines as we explore the full potential of Delivering Combined Seapower.”

As well as the joint talks, Admiral Gilday was treated to Royal Navy tradition, attending a Trafalgar Night dinner hosted by Admiral Key at the British Ambassador’s Residence in Washington.

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