As part of the growing Anglo-U.S. and international military cooperation to face China, the U.S. Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, the USS The Sullivans (DDG-68) will be joining the British carrier strike group led by the Royal Navy’s flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth in May. Added to the allied flotilla will also be a Dutch navy frigate. The warships will then head east to the Indo-Pacific.
This will be the first operational deployment for the British aircraft carrier, which was commissioned in 2017.
The USS The Sullivans is the second U.S. Navy ship to carry the name of the five Sullivan brothers, enlisted Navy sailors who died together when their ship was sunk by a torpedo in World War II.
This isn’t the first time the U.S. and British warships worked together though. The USS Sullivans previously participated with the HMS Queen Elizabeth’s carrier strike group in a pre-deployment exercise.
Per a U.S. Navy statement:
In Oct. 2020, USS The Sullivans participated in U.K.-led exercise Joint Warrior 20-2 as part of HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) Strike Group. The exercise provided pre-deployment opportunities for the international strike group.
The statement added:
“It is an honor to sail in this elite multi-national strike group on the frontline demonstrating a fully integrated force that showcases the special relationship that our countries have,” said Cmdr. David Burkett, commanding officer of the USS The Sullivans.
Once joined with the HMS Queen Elizabeth and the frigate HNLMS Evertsen of the Royal Netherlands Navy, in the North Atlantic, the multinational force of warships will head east.
The strike group will travel from the North Atlantic, to the Mediterranean Sea and through the Suez Canal to the Indian Ocean before arriving in the Indo-Pacific region, where the Chinese military will be watching closely. ADN