US Harrier jets, launched from the USS Iwo Jima attack aircraft, acted as enemy attack aircraft against the British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and her strike group.
This participation is part of Exercise Strike Warrior, Queen Elizabeth’s certification exercise prior to her global deployment.
The US states that the US Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) participated in a training exercise with HMS Queen Elizabeth off the coast of Scotland on May 10, 2021.
The Harrier squad acted as an enemy strike aircraft to facilitate training in Queen Elizabeth’s detection and defense skills. The combat is part of the Exercise Strike Warrior, Queen Elizabeth’s certification exercise.
The AV-8Bs, launched from the USS Iwo Jima, are part of the 162nd Reinforced Naval Medium Helicopter Squadron (VMM), the 24th MEU’s aircraft combat unit. The Harriers provide the MEU with striking capabilities through deep and immediate support. “
According to a US Navy press release:
“The Iwo Jima Alert Group (IWOARG) and the 24th Marine Expeditionary Force have about 4,300 sailors and marines. ARG-MEU is deployed in Sixth Fleet to support regional allies and NATO partners, as well as US national security interests in Europe and Africa.
US troops are also part of the Queen Elizabeth Strike Force. The Arleigh Burke USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) and F-35B guided missile destroyer will be deployed with a strike team during its first deployment. ”
What is an aircraft carrier strike group doing?
HMS Queen Elizabeth and her carrier strike group are currently conducting exercises with Allied nations in and around the Scottish Isles as part of the massive Strike Warrior exercise.
HMS Queen Elizabeth at sea with British and American aircraft.
The Royal Navy reports that the Exercise Strike Warrior exercise includes more than 20 warships, three submarines and 150 aircraft from 11 countries, and this is the last test for the Carrier Strike Group before its first operational deployment in the Mediterranean Sea, Indian Ocean and Asia and Pacific region.
“During the two-week exercise, the task force will fight NATO Maritime Standing Group 1 warships in Northwest Scotland to prove it is capable of high-intensity operations against the most demanding adversaries. Strike Warrior will culminate in the certification of a ready-to-deploy aircraft carrier strike group, after which operational command will shift from Vice Admiral Jerry Kidd, Royal Navy Commander, to Vice Admiral Sir Ben Key, Chief of Joint Operations.