Ten U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters got underway aboard U.K. aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) on Tuesday ahead of an upcoming series of drills, the squadron announced. The “Wake Island Avengers” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211 will train with the Royal Air Force’s 617 Squadron “The Dambusters” on the lead ship in a new class of U.K. carriers and partake in the upcoming Group Exercise, the U.S. squadron said in a press release.
“This deployment demonstrates that our forces are more than interoperable—we are integrated,” Col. Simon Doran, the senior national representative to the United Kingdom’s carrier strike group, said in a statement.
“During this special partnership, the US Marine Corps and US Navy will conduct carrier strike group operations, training to maritime power projection, and ultimately supporting shared security,” Doran added. “Our alliance is stronger because we can deploy and fight together as truly integrated NATO allies.”
Seven British vessels – a mix of frigates, destroyers, and auxiliaries – will participate in the Group Exercise, also known as GroupEx, according to a statement from the U.K. Royal Navy.
“In addition to these forces, the UK CSG will be joined by warships from the Royal Netherlands Navy and US Navy to form the largest UK-led multi-national force in recent years, which will accompany HMS Queen Elizabeth on her global, inaugural deployment in 2021,” the U.S. squadron said. READ MORE HERE