Thor Heyerdahl linked up with HMS Queen Elizabeth following her departure from the east coast of the United States, providing ongoing maritime situational awareness and engaging in anti-submarine warfare training with the carrier strike group.
Queen Elizabeth departed Portsmouth, United Kingdom on Aug. 30 for training with U.S. and Royal Canadian Navy forces. During its time with Allied nations, the ship was able to conduct flight operations with the British F-35B Lightning fighter jets testing their operational capacity.
"Working with Allied Navies throughout the Atlantic Ocean is fundamental in strengthening and improving the Alliance's ability to quickly integrate with national forces to be able to execute tasking in support of any NATO mission," said U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Edward Cashman, Commander of SNMG1.
Thor Heyerdahl was called away from an exercise in the Norwegian Sea to carry out this mission, demonstrating NATO's ability to quickly adapt to changing scenarios on a global scale.
SNMG1 is one of four NATO's Standing Forces on active duty that contribute to the Alliance's collective defence on a permanent basis.
NATO's maritime strength lies in the ability of the Standing Forces and National Response Force elements to rapidly join with high readiness, high capability national forces and task groups to deliver strategic effect. Regular training between these groups is a force multiplier and provides a collectively trained and interoperable capability that NATO can confidently deploy if necessary.