The Joint Declaration supports UK Carrier Strike Group, led by the UK’s aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, on its inaugural deployment this year. The Carrier Strike Group will be complemented by US Marine Corps and US Navy personnel and equipment, including a detachment of US Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II aircraft and the US Navy’s destroyer, USS The Sullivans (DDG-68).
This joint declaration paves the way for the US Navy and Marine Corps to be joining the HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH Carrier Strike Group this year for the inaugural Carrier Strike 21 deployment. I am delighted that the UK now possesses a 21st century Carrier Strike capability, which has been greatly assisted by the unswerving support and cooperation of the United States at all levels over the past decade. This deployment embodies the strength of our bilateral ties and reflects the depth and breadth of this vital defence and security partnership.
UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace
USS The Sullivans (DDG-68) is a Flight I Arleigh Burke-class ship displacing over 8,000 tons and fitted with 90 Mk41 VLS cells. The ship is home ported in Mayport, Florida.
The Carrier Strike Group (CSG) has reached Initial Operating Capability (IOC) in December 2020. An operational deployment later this year will see the Royal Navy HMS Queen Elizabeth Carrier Strike Group sail in the Mediterranean Sea, the Persian Gulf and end up in the Pacific (in waters near Japan). The ship will carry 24 F-35B jets, including US Marine Corps aircraft, in addition to a number of helicopters.