The Royal Navy service HMS Value of Wales is working nicely above the Arctic Circle, calling on the distant island of Jan Mayen earlier than heading additional north. Prince of Wales just isn’t an icebreaker or a analysis ship, however a floating airfield for F-35B stealth fighters. She is the sister ship of HMS Queen Elizabeth, the flagship of the Royal Navy.
Prince of Wales and her escort, the frigate HMS Richmond, sailed to the frozen volcanic island – positioned about 340 miles north of Iceland and 280 miles east of Greenland – because the plane service goes via intensive Arctic workouts. It’s exceedingly uncommon to come across a NATO service working this far north; for the U.S. Navy, a service deployment north of 66 levels is a once-per-decade occasion.
The Prince of Wales will now proceed even additional north for extra chilly climate checks earlier than returning to the UK, in keeping with the Royal Navy.
Photographs courtesy Royal Navy
The plane service arrived at Jan Mayen shortly after the most important army workouts within the Arctic for the reason that Chilly Warfare, Chilly Response 2022. Prince of Wales led the naval part, and 3,000 British servicemembers joined 27,000 of their NATO colleagues for 2 weeks of maneuvers in northern Norway.
The current presence is a part of a broader UK coverage dedication to the protection of NATO’s northern waters. Throughout the workouts in Norway, UK Protection Secretary Ben Wallace visited HMS Prince of Wales to announce common Royal Navy and Royal Marines deployments to the excessive north.
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HMS Prince of Wales simply accomplished a four-day go to to Iceland, a NATO ally and the strategic linchpin within the GIUK Hole, the waterway between Russia’s Northern Sea Route and the North Atlantic. Iceland is the most recent member of the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Pressure, alongside Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway.
“Being the primary fifth technology plane service to go to Iceland has been a proud second for our ship’s firm as we proceed our operations, alongside NATO Allies and JEF companions within the Arctic,” mentioned Capt Higham.