By Royal Navy Lt. Cameron Fisher
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) joined the British Royal Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessel HMS Trent (P224) in the Eastern Mediterranean, Sept. 9, 2020.
Together they honed their maritime skills and improved interoperability between long standing partner nations.
“It is always great to operate at sea with our strong allies the United Kingdom,” said Cmdr. Timothy Shanley, USS Winston S. Churchill’s commanding officer. “On Churchill, we are recognized as the U.S. Navy Warship with a British namesake. Our Ship constantly revisits its ties to the Royal Navy and seeing Trent approach from over the horizon brought a smile to the team onboard, the widest smile being the one beaming from our Royal Navy Navigator.”
USS Winston S. Churchill, based out of Norfolk, Va., is the only U.S. Navy ship to have a Royal Navy officer assigned permanently to the ship’s company in honor of the ship’s namesake. As part of the unique personnel exchange program, Royal Navy Lt. Cameron Fisher is currently serving a two-year tour of duty.
“This was a welcome opportunity to work alongside my home country,” stated Fisher. “Working with our U.S. allies everyday has been a truly invaluable experience and coordinating with my countrymen on these exercises was a pleasure.”
Both ships deployed within days of each other at the start of August from their respective home-waters. HMS Trent is on her first operational deployment, supporting anti-piracy, anti-smuggling, and counter-terrorism operations. Trent is in the Mediterranean Sea supporting NATO’s ongoing maritime security operations.
USS Winston S. Churchill departed Norfolk, Va., Aug. 10, for a regularly scheduled deployment to maintain maritime stability, security, deter aggression, and defend U.S., allied and partner interest around the globe.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.