NEWS | July 19, 2021

U.S. Navy destroyer assumes air defense duties as part of Carrier Strike Group 21

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Janiel F. Adames

While operating in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) assumed air defense commander for the United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group  (UKCSG) in support of joint operations and interoperability training, demonstrating mutual commitment to stability and security throughout multiple areas of responsibilities.

The Sullivans is operating under tactical control of UKCSG providing multi-warfare defense to the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08).

The UKCSG’s transit of the Mediterranean Sea provided an opportunity to train and exercise with our NATO Allies and regional partners to include operations with Italian and French Navies and Air Forces.

“Taking air defense commander duties was the culmination of our pre-deployment training with the Carrier Strike Group during Exercises Joint Warrior and Strike Warrior” said Cmdr. David Burkett, commanding officer of The Sullivans.

The first deployment of the UK Carrier Strike Group – CSG21 - is a historic achievement and the culmination of a decade-long bilateral carrier cooperation effort to deepen U.S. – UK interoperability in an unprecedented way.

The Sullivans is the only U.S. ship operating as part of CSG21. U.S. Marine Corps F-35Bs, pilots, and support personnel are part of the air wing embarked on HMS Queen Elizabeth. CSG21 is comprised of HMS Queen Elizabeth, HMS Defender, HMS Diamond, HMS Kent, HMS Richmond, RFA Tidespring, RFA Fort Victoria, The Sullivans, HNLMS Evertsen, and a UK submarine.

The Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) serves as the flagship for CSG21. The deployment commenced in May 2021 from Portsmouth, UK, and includes operations in and transit through U.S European Command, U.S. Central Command, and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command areas of operation. Locations include the Mediterranean Sea, the Suez Canal, the Arabian Gulf, the Indian Ocean, and the Pacific Ocean.

U.S. Sixth Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests, security and stability in Europe and Africa.