Yesterday, the British Ministry of Defense released several new details about the flight of the international task force led by the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth to Japan. It was previously known that two British ships will enter the Black Sea. HNLMS Evertsen is also part of the squadron and more information on the Dutch plans is expected soon.
Air Defense and Command frigate HNLMS Evertsen in 2019. At that time, Evertsen was a crew ship from NATO Permanent Squadron SNMG2 for six months. (Photo: Hans van Pijkeren / Royal Navy)
In May, HMS Queen Elizabeth Task Force will depart from Portsmouth on a long flight of 26,000 nautical miles (more than 30,000 miles, more than the circumference of the Earth). The British Ministry of Defense announced that this trip would take at least seven months.
As far as Marineschepen.nl can make sure this is the longest voyage of a Dutch cruise ship in several decades. Anyway longer than the HNLMS World Tour. Tromp in 2006 (6 months), longer than the Fairwind (’80 – ’00) and Far Eastern cruises in the 1970s. Dutch naval ships were away from the Netherlands for a longer period in the 1960s, but were operating from a second major base in the east. The same goes for the terminal ship in the west. Are Marineschepen.nl readers aware of a journey longer than seven months in recent history?
Part of the flight was announced in February and was in the news last week: A Type 45 destroyer and a Type 23 frigate will enter the Black Sea. This was surprising news last week with the escalation of tensions in the Black Sea due to the massive build-up of forces in the Crimea and the concentration of naval ships in the surrounding waters. Meanwhile, the Russians have reduced the military presence again.
After the British plans for the news were published, the question was, of course, what the Dutch stake would do: Will Everzen stay at a distance with the aircraft carrier, or go to the Black Sea? Marineschepen.nl asked the Foreign and Defense ministries for the Dutch position regarding HNLMS. Evertsen and spread in the Black Sea. Eversen may be subordinated to a British squadron commander, but the Dutch government ultimately determines where the ship will go and not go. The defense responded, “More detail is being done in planning activities in the Black Sea. More will be known about that in the short term.”
Not nine units of cruising, but ten units
The voyage has already begun for one ship: the USS Arleigh Burke class destroyer The Sullivans departed from Naval Station Mayport in Florida last Monday. The Sullivans head to Great Britain to join the Task Force.
What the program of this working group will look like has long been shrouded in mystery. This is partly due to the uncertainty associated with the pandemic. Yesterday, for the first time, it became clearer about the envious travel plans of the 10 sailing units and 3,700 men and women.
Ten units, not nine units as previously reported by the British Navy. The British Defense announced that a British (nuclear) Astute submarine would be part of the task force. I would specifically add that the submarine is “armed.” [is] With Tomahawk cruise missiles. ”It is not clear why this addition was made, as the squadron does not go to war and other ships have weapons on board. Although owning a Tomahawk seems undoubtedly interesting during cocktail parties.
HNLMS Evertsen on land at Damen Shiprepair in Amsterdam, early this month. Evertsen was ready for the long journey. Hopefully it wouldn’t be necessary, but even if there was a problem along the way, the Navy could send technical support or even an entire gas turbine to the other side of the world. In 1979 and 1988, during a distant squadron flight, cruise gas turbines from the frigate S Hr.Ms. Courteneire in Australia. A distant predecessor of the current Hr.Ms. Evertsen, I ran aground near Korea in 1950 and went to Dry Dock in Hong Kong. The latter will not happen anytime soon. (Photo: Jaime Karremann / Marineschepen.nl)
40 countries, 26,000 nautical miles
The ships program is more impressive than the Tomahawk. The flight will take a minimum of 28 weeks (7 months) and units of the Carrier Strike Group will visit more than 40 countries. This number of countries is also high because, as usual, perhaps not all ships visit the same ports and countries.
The comment raises the veil on UK goals: “In Parliament, the Secretary of Defense will explain how the trip will help achieve the UK’s goal of deeper engagement in the Indo-Pacific region to support regional prosperity and stability – a recently published goal An integrated review of foreign, defense, security and development policy. ”
“The next commitment will reinforce already deep defense partnerships in the region, as the UK commits to a more sustainable regional defense and security presence.”
Countries such as Singapore, South Korea, Japan and India are explicitly mentioned. No mention is made of a passage across the South China Sea, but the task force will not avoid it.
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Lots of practice with allies
The ships will participate in various exercises. In the Mediterranean, HMS Queen Elizabeth is cooperating with the so-called French aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle Dual carrier operations To implement. The Task Force is participating in NATO’s flagship Steadfast Defender exercise in Southern Europe (May-June), which contributes to the NATO Operation Sea Guardian in the Mediterranean, and thus will operate in the Black Sea.
Moreover, the Bircama Lima Exercise, marking the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the The Five Forces Defense Agreement Consists of Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, in the program.
Only the Dutch frigate and the American destroyer are part of the squadron. But units from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Greece, Israel, India, Italy, New Zealand, Oman, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and South Korea will also join for a shorter period of time.