LONDON (Agencies): In a historic move, HMS Queen Elizabeth, the United Kingdom’s largest and most powerful flagship, is now under NATO command, showcasing its prowess during the Neptune Strike exercise. NATO announced the transfer of control, emphasizing the collaborative deployment of the British aircraft carrier alongside allied forces. The UK Carrier Strike Group (UKCSG), comprising advanced vessels and aircraft, aims to demonstrate NATO’s capability to protect and defend against diverse threats across regions.
The UKCSG, including the HMS Queen Elizabeth, HMS Kent, HMS Diamond, F-35B Lightning jets, Wildcat, Merlin helicopters, and support ships, will operate under NATO command, extending its reach from the Mediterranean to the Baltic Sea. This strategic move aligns with NATO’s commitment to collective defense and enhances vigilance against potential threats.
Neptune Strike, involving warships from 21 nations, underscores NATO’s enduring strength and relevance in contemporary security challenges. Commodore James Blackmore, Commander of the UK’s Carrier Strike Group, highlighted the significance of the operation, stating, “This is the first time NATO has commanded a UK Carrier Strike Group in my memory, so this is noteworthy for the UK and the alliance. I look forward to a full week of activity and much more in the future; we are stronger together.”
The collaboration reaffirms NATO’s dedication to deterrence and defense in the Euro-Atlantic region, reinforcing the alliance’s ability to respond rapidly to evolving security situations. The operation marks a milestone in NATO’s history, symbolizing collective strength and unity among member nations. After the completion of the operation or as per UK requirements, the HMS Queen Elizabeth and associated forces will revert to Royal Navy control for subsequent tasks, maintaining the flexibility of deployment.