The UK Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon has completed training with a U.S. Navy Carrier Strike Group off the east coast of the United States.
The destroyer is currently on deployment as part of the HMS Queen Elizabeth’s Carrier Strike Group but took the chance to train with the Americans and bring back vital knowledge to the UK’s carrier missions.
HMNB Portsmouth-based Dragon brought her air defence capabilities to the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, while Commodore Mike Utley, Commander Carrier Strike Group, and HMS Queen Elizabeth’s Commanding Officer, Captain Steve Moorhouse, visited the American carrier “to share knowledge and reaffirm bonds between the two nations”.
“The US Navy and US Marine Corps have provided extraordinary support to the United Kingdom as we regenerate our Carrier Strike capability,” said Utley. “And they continue to do so as we prepare to conduct operational tests with the British F-35B Lightning jets on board our new aircraft carrier, here in the United States, for the first time.”
On top of Dragon’s training, Merlins from 845 Naval Air Squadron landed on the deck of the USS Dwight D Eisenhower – a first for the Commando Helicopter Force fliers of 845.
HMS Dragon will now return to her post alongside HMS Queen Elizabeth on the Westlant 19 deployment. There, she will be joined by the other ships of the Carrier Strike Group, Type 23 frigate HMS Northumberland (F238) and Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Tide-class replenishment tanker RFA Tideforce (A139).
The group will soon be running trials with the UK’s F35 Lightning fighter jets for the first time.