The United Kingdom’s Carrier Strike Group, which has recently been undertaking exercises across the Mediterranean, has deployed stealth jets against the Islamic State.
The UK’s Carrier Strike Group has joined Operation Shader and Operation Inherent Resolve this week, carrying out missions from the HMS Queen Elizabeth with the RAF’s 617 Squadron against the Islamic State.
The Carrier Strike Group made earlier headlines following a series of engagements in the Mediterranean alongside the UK’s regional partners.
Carrying out the mission is the RAF’s 617 Squadron, made famous during the Second World War as the Dambusters.
UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace noted that the Carrier Strike Group marked a new Global Britain.
“The ability to operate from the sea with the most advanced fighter jets ever created is a significant moment in our history, offering reassurance to our allies and demonstrating the UK’s formidable air power to our adversaries,” Secretary Wallace said.
“The Carrier Strike Group is a physical embodiment of Global Britain and a show of international military strength that will deter anyone who seeks to undermine global security.”
The Carrier Strike Group is the UK’s largest naval and air strike group “in a generation”.
Commodore Steve Moorhouse, Commander United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group, described the importance of the strike group for Britain’s international relations.
“HMS Queen Elizabeth’s first missions against Daesh will be remembered as a significant moment in the 50-year lifespan of this ship,” Cdre Moorhouse noted.
“It also marks a new phase of our current deployment. To date we have delivered diplomatic influence on behalf of the UK through a series of exercises and engagements with our partners – now we are ready to deliver the hard punch of maritime-based air power against a shared enemy.
“The involvement of HMS Queen Elizabeth and her Air Wing in this campaign also sends a wider message. It demonstrates the speed and agility with which a UK-led Carrier Strike Group can inject fifth-generation combat power into any operation, anywhere in the world, thereby offering the British Government, and our allies, true military and political choice.”
According to a release by the UK government, the HMS Queen Elizabeth is carrying a total of 18 UK and US F-35B jets.