For the task group, which has spent previous weeks in the Mediterranean working with NATO allies and partners, it marks a change of emphasis…reports Asian Lite News.
The British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth has launched its first direct military operation against Daesh as part of its first deployment after UK has shifted its focus to Indo-Pacific.
Stealth jets of the 617 Squadron RAF – The Dambusters – carried out operational sorties for the first time from the new carrier in support of Operation Shader and US Operation Inherent Resolve.
British and American F-35B Stealth jets took off from the decks to strike the terror group’s positions in Syria and Iraq, the Arab News reported.
There are 18 UK and US F35B jets on board HMS Queen Elizabeth, which is the largest number to ever sail the seas. The aircraft are next generation multi-role combat aircraft equipped with advanced sensors, mission systems and stealth technology.
Defence officials said several Daesh positions were destroyed, according to the Arab News report.
Defence Secretary Ben 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 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,” Wallace said.
For the task group, which has spent previous weeks in the Mediterranean working with NATO allies and partners, it marks a change of emphasis.
From exercises and international engagements, the Carrier Strike Group is now contributing to the UK’s fight against Daesh – Operation Shader, which forms part of the Global Collation against Daesh.
Commodore Steve Moorhouse, Commander United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group, said the carrier’s first missions against Daesh will be remembered as a significant moment in the 50-year lifespan of the ship.
“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,” he said.
CSG21, led by HMS Queen Elizabeth, is the largest concentration of maritime and air power to leave the UK in a generation and this is its first operational deployment, which is joint between the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.