Aug. 11 (UPI) — The USS George H.W. Bush carrier strike group has completed the multinational Saxon Warrior 2017 exercise off the coast of the Britain.
Participating units from the U.S., U.K., Sweden, Germany and Norway engaged in a 10-day series of carrier strike group training drills involving multiple possible scenarios for future conflicts.
It included the commander and staff of the British carrier strike group built around the country’s new flagship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, which is currently conducting sea trials.
“Saxon Warrior was a perfect platform to test how far we’ve come because we started from scratch,” Royal Navy Lt. Cmdr. James Capps said in a press release.
“We’re trying to get in a position that when the Queen Elizabeth comes online, we can operate her as an embryonic carrier strike group and develop that towards the future when we go out the doors as a fully-fledged carrier strike group.”
The exercise included multinational aircraft squadrons practicing landing operations and other exercises to improve cooperation between the different navies and aircraft.
The Bush CSG is currently attached to the U.S. 6th fleet. It was recently deployed off the coast of Syria to support operations against ISIS.
The HMS Queen Elizabeth is Britain’s newest aircraft carrier and the largest ship ever built for the Royal Navy. Its planned carrier air wing will include 40 aircraft, with possible expansions to come.
It is the first in its planned class of two carriers for the Royal Navy, with the HMS Prince of Wales as the other.