UK — Royal Navy warships return home from major US exercise

Portsmouth-based air­craft car­ri­er HMS Ark Roy­al and Type 42 destroy­er HMS Liv­er­pool returned home to cheer­ing crowds on Sat­ur­day fol­low­ing a busy four-month deploy­ment in the west­ern Atlantic.

RFA Fort George comes alongside HMS Ark Royal's port (left) side during Exercise Auriga
RFA Fort George comes along­side HMS Ark Royal’s port (left) side dur­ing Exer­cise Auri­ga
Source: Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

The ships were the lat­est of the task force to return to the UK fol­low­ing the return of HMS Suther­land and HMS Albion to Devon­port last week. Roy­al Aux­il­iary Fleet (RFA) ship Fort George returns to Crom­bie today. 

Exer­cise Auri­ga 2010 saw the sailors not only take part in large scale multi­na­tion­al exer­cis­es but also present the air­craft car­ri­er to the Queen at the Cana­di­an Navy’s Cen­ten­ni­al Inter­na­tion­al Fleet Review and host First Sea Lord Admi­ral Sir Mark Stan­hope and Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron. 

Com­mand­ing Offi­cer of HMS Ark Roy­al, Cap­tain John Clink, said: 

“Ark Roy­al, as the Car­ri­er Strike Group flag­ship, has had a suc­cess­ful deploy­ment and it is thanks to the hard work of the ship’s com­pa­ny that we have achieved so much. 

“Fly­ing from the sea is com­plex, excit­ing and takes a great deal of team­work and effort. 

“I think we can be jus­ti­fi­ably proud of a job well done as we strive to prove and improve our capa­bil­i­ties. All very fit­ting for a ship which cel­e­brates her sil­ver jubilee this year.” 

Exer­cise Auri­ga 2010 was designed to demon­strate the UK’s abil­i­ty to deploy, oper­ate and sus­tain a task group out of area for a pro­longed peri­od. The deploy­ment focused on a series of exer­cis­es host­ed by the Unit­ed States and Cana­di­an navies with the prin­ci­pal aim of enhanc­ing the task group’s oper­a­tional capability. 

Led by Com­modore Simon Ancona on HMS Ark Roy­al, the Car­ri­er Strike Task Group had around 2,000 UK, US and French per­son­nel on board HMS Suther­land, HMS Liv­er­pool, RFA Fort George, USS Bar­ry and the French sub­ma­rine FS Per­le, as well as Har­ri­er GR9 jets and Mer­lin, Sea King and Lynx helicopters. 

Com­modore Ancona said: 

“The Roy­al Navy is gen­er­at­ing a sus­tain­able small scale task group con­tin­gency capa­bil­i­ty in line with MOD policy. 

“The east coast of the Unit­ed States is lit­er­al­ly tai­lor-made to sup­port our needs — the exer­cise areas, assets and ranges form a sort of car­ri­er ‘gym­na­si­um’ for test­ing strike and amphibi­ous capabilities. 

“The Auri­ga deploy­ment was designed to take full advan­tage for both our Car­ri­er Strike and Amphibi­ous Task Group capa­bil­i­ty development. 

“It’s all about inter­op­er­abil­i­ty, flex­i­bil­i­ty and sus­tain­abil­i­ty, or, put sim­ply, work with allies to do what­ev­er is need­ed for as long as it takes, at sea and from the sea.” 

As well as Ark Roy­al being the com­mand and con­trol plat­form for the Car­ri­er Strike Task Group, the ship also embarked 14 Unit­ed States Marine Corps AV-8B Har­ri­er II jets, and became the task group lead for the Roy­al Navy’s Amphibi­ous Task Group. 

This includ­ed HMS Albion, HMS Ocean and RFA Largs Bay on a four-week exer­cise with USS Kearsarge. 

Fel­low Portsmouth-based war­ship HMS Liv­er­pool was tasked to pro­vide air defence for Ark Roy­al and the Car­ri­er Strike Task Group which has helped her devel­op new pro­ce­dures that will com­ple­ment the intro­duc­tion of the new air­craft carriers. 

HMS Liverpool’s Com­mand­ing Offi­cer, Com­man­der Ollie Hutchin­son, said: 

“Peo­ple who join the Roy­al Navy do so for the promise of going to sea, see­ing the world and expe­ri­enc­ing a var­ied and unique career. HMS Liv­er­pool has deliv­ered on that promise. 

“While the last four months have been extreme­ly chal­leng­ing, they have also been reward­ing and enjoy­able for every­body on board, but there is no sub­sti­tute for com­ing home.” 

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK 

Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →