HMS Queen Elizabeth during CSG21 (Picture: MOD).
CSG21

Homeward-bound UK Carrier Strike Group leaves Pacific

The CSG21 deployment has now passed the midway point, with a stop in India up next before heading to the Gulf for exercises.

HMS Queen Elizabeth during CSG21 (Picture: MOD).

The UK Carrier Strike Group (CSG21) has left the Pacific and is heading to India on the next phase of the deployment.

The Strike Group, led by Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, has passed the midway point of its maiden deployment after spending recent months in the Indo-Pacific.

Commodore Steve Moorhouse, Commander UK Carrier Strike Group, tweeted a highlights video of the formation's time in the Pacific, saying: "As #CSG21 moves to the next phase of the deployment, it's time to reflect on our time in the #Pacific; working with friends and partners and allies.

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"This is just the start of an increased @RoyalNavy presence in the Indo-Pacific."

CSG21 has taken part in a number of exercises while in the Pacific, including quad carrier operations alongside two US Navy strike groups that included a Japanese carrier.

The formation, which set sail from the UK in May, has also navigated through the disputed South China Sea and carried out training with Singapore's military there.

About two weeks before that, China accused the UK of "evil intentions" as HMS Richmond, part of the Strike Group, sailed through the Taiwan Strait.

After a logistics stop in Singapore, the formation set sail west last week and units from the CSG21 have exercised with vessels from US, Japan and Australia in the Bay of Bengal.

The Strike Group is expected to take part in joint maritime exercises and other engagements during the visit to India, before heading to the Gulf as the ships continue their homeward journey.

The group will then carry out F-35 figher exercises with Oman and UAE air forces and maritime training alongside the Royal Navy of Oman.

Meanwhile, American destroyer USS The Sullivans that has made up part of the Carrier Strike Group left the formation for her journey home on Tuesday.

In a tweet, HMS Queen Elizabeth wished the ship and her crew "fair winds and following seas".

Watch: The amazing story behind the name of the USS The Sullivans.