Britain’s new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is taking part in a massive NATO exercise in the Mediterranean this week ahead of its eight-month maiden voyage to Asia designed to counter the security challenges posed by the Chinese regime.
The war games, dubbed Steadfast Defender 21, are aimed at simulating the 30-nation military alliance’s response to an attack on any one of its members.
Military personnel participate in the NATO Steadfast Defender 2021 exercise on the deck of the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth off the coast of Portugal, on May 27, 2021. (Ana Brigida /AP Photo)
But this is just the beginning of the Carrier Strike Group’s eight-month maiden voyage to the Far East, during which it will cross through the South China Sea in a signal to Beijing that sea lanes must remain open.
Commodore Steve Moorhouse, Commander of the Carrier Strike Group, said the deployment will be “a hugely powerful statement” of Britain’s readiness to defend Western interests.
“It shows that we are a global navy and wanting to be back out there,” he said.
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