News

American commander sees what Daring’s made of in the Gulf
19 April 2012

One of the most senior US naval commanders in the Gulf joined HMS Daring to see what Britain’s most advanced warship can do.

Rear Admiral Mike Shoemaker is in charge of two American Carrier Strike Groups – a dozen warships, over 100 aircraft and more than 12,000 souls – on patrol and visited the destroyer which has been working with the two potent task groups.

A Seahawk helicopter from the USS Abraham Lincoln delivers Admiral Shoemaker to HMS Daring as the carrier, destroyer and tanker USN Joshua Humphreys sail together. Pictures: LA(Phot) Keith Morgan, HMS Daring

THE man who commands possibly the most powerful naval force afloat witnessed the best of British when he joined HMS Daring in the Gulf.

Rear Admiral Mike Shoemaker commands not one but two US Carrier Strike Groups – those of the Abraham Lincoln and Carl Vinson.

As part of her seven-month east of Suez deployment, Britain’s most advanced warship is working heavily with the Americans, as well as the UK’s regional allies.

The past few weeks has seen the Portsmouth-based Type 45 destroyer, on her maiden deployment, work with both the Carl Vinson and ‘Abe’.

Daring’s Capt Guy Robinson (nearest the camera) briefs the American admiral on the potency of the Type 45

The link-up with the groups – Vinson leads Carrier Strike Group One, while the Lincoln is the flagship of Group Nine, each comprising one carrier, one cruiser, two destroyers, one hunter-killer submarine and a support ship, plus an air wing of more than 60 jets, helicopters and piston-engined aircraft – has seen Daring swap personnel with the American ships.

Those exchanges went right to the top with Rear Admiral Shoemaker, Commander Task Force 50, jumping at the chance to get across to the Daring himself and to be briefed fully on the capabilities the advanced air defence destroyer can bring to a US Carrier Strike Group. 

He got to meet the Ship’s Company whilst he toured the Type 45 destroyer and was then briefed in full by the Commanding Officer, Captain Guy Robinson, and his Operations Room team.

An impressive aerial view of Daring and the Abraham Lincoln sandwiching the tanker Joshua Humphreys

“Maritime security operations in the Gulf are supported by the Navies of many nations. It is very important that we all work together and understand how each other operate,” explained Lt Cdr Luke Hayashi.

“Rear Admiral Shoemaker will now have a better understanding of what Daring can contribute, given that she is the first Type 45 to operate in the Gulf.

“Being an air warfare officer myself, it’s hugely satisfying to see Daring operating in her core role as an air defender, especially in a such a complex and challenging operational environment.”