Photo essay: HMS Queen Elizabeth Westlant 19 deployment – Part 1

HMS Queen Elizabeth sailed from Portsmouth on the 30th August in company with RFA Tideforce. After some final operational sea training off the coast of North Cornwall, the ships were joined by HMS Dragon and crossed the Atlantic to Canada. This photo and video essay documents the initial part of the Westlant 19 deployment.

Aircraft carrier movements in and out of Portsmouth are becoming more frequent, but will never be entirely routine.

Bridge team on HMS Queen Elizabeth concentrating hard during challenging harbour exit.

Friends and family of the ship’s company gather on the Round Tower to wave them off. Every Royal Navy deployment involves sailors being separated from their loved ones.

Steaming down the Channel in company with French frigate FS La Motte Picquet. Warships from other nations are likely to frequently contribute to the escort of the RN Carrier Strike Group in the future.

Helicopter eye view from 845 Naval Air Squadron Merlin Mk 4 – landing on HMS Queen Elizabeth, just south of the Isle of Wight.

HMS Dragon joins the group – seen reflected in the signal projector on the carrier’s bridge wing.

Royal Marines from Lima Company 42 Commado conduct rapid roping exercises with the assistance of a Merlin Mk4 from 845 NAS.

Marines embark via the rear ramp on to Mk4 Merlin.

Crash on deck exercises testing the fire fighting and medical response to an emergency.

Wildcat embarked on RFA Tideforce (Photo: Matt Bromage / RFA Tideforce)

(Photo: Matt Bromage / RFA Tideforce)

Fine conditions for mid-Atlantic replenishment at sea. HMS Queen Elizabeth visible in the distance. (Photo: Matt Bromage / RFA Tideforce)

Dragon chases dolphin. (Photo: Matt Bromage / RFA Tideforce)

The carrier’s turn to replenish.

Using the double probe for the first time. The Tide class tankers were designed from the outset to refuel the carriers. Using both rigs, potentially a combined total of 2,000 tonnes of Marine Diesel and/or Aviation fuel can be delivered per hour.

The crossing gets a little bit rougher (Photo: Matt Bromage / RFA Tideforce)

Procedure alpha on arrival for 5-day visit to Halifax, Canada on 12th September.

Commander UK Carrier Strike Group, Commodore Mike Utley, welcomes Rear Admiral Craig Baines, commander of Canadian Maritime Forces Atlantic (MARLANT) on board.

Captain Steve Moorhouse hosts the British High Commissioner to Canada, Her Excellency Susan le Jeune d’Allegeershecque on the bridge as the ship arrives.

HMS Dragon and RFA Tideforce alongside at the pier in Halifax dockyard. (Photo: Lt Cdr Daniel Rice, RCN)

Another meeting of the Queens, RMS Queen Mary sails past on her way into Halifax. These two iconic ships were pictured together last year in New York.

HMS Queen Elizabeth anchored the outer harbour for the visit – she is too large to go alongside in the dockyard. (Photo: AeroVision Canada )

At anchor (Photo: Clarence Hemeon)

Atmospheric visit to the ship night. Note the illumination from the bays for the Passenger Transfer Boats and RIB. (Photo: Sue Molloy)

Royal Marines Band Service beating the retreat for a reception held by the British High Commission in the hangar. The ship has hosted various events to cement diplomatic, trade and military ties between the UK and Canada. (Photo: Sue Molloy)

RFA Tideforce sailed from Halifax on the 16th September shortly followed by HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Dragon. (Photos: Clarence Hemeon)

HMS Northumberland will join the UKCSG after completing her participation in ASW exercise Cutlass Fury. The group will now head south toward the Caribbean for hot weather trials. UK-owned jets are not expected on board until the second week of October. Another major diplomatic visit to Annapolis, not far from Washington will take place in November.