Daily US Times: This week, US Marine Corps fighter jets aboard a British aircraft carrier flew combat missions over the Middle — the first time US warplanes have gone into combat from a foreign warship since World War II, the UK’s Ministry of Defense said on Tuesday.
The missions against Islamic State (ISIS) also marked the first combat missioons for Britain’s new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, the largest ship the British Navy has ever put to sea, and the first combat action for a British aircraft carrier in a decade.
Commander of the air wing aboard the Queen Elizabeth Capt. James Blackmore said the last time US planes flew combat missions from a foreign aircraft carrier was in 1943, when American planes deployed from Britain’s HMS Victorious in the South Pacific.
The US F-35B jets flying against ISIS were joined by similar British warplanes in support of the US military’s Operation Inherent Resolve and UK’s Operation Shader.
A total of 18 UK and US F-35Bs are embarked aboard the 65,000-ton Queen Elizabeth, the largest number of the advanced warplanes ever deployed on one ship.
US-designed F-35B warplanes are state-of-the-art stealth aircraft that can land vertically, enabling them to deploy on smaller ships than the massive 100,000-ton Nimitz-class aircraft carriers that are the backbone of the US Navy’s fleet.
Blackmore said: “The level of integration between Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and US Marine Corps is truly seamless, and testament to how close we’ve become.”