in Defence / Events

UK and US naval chiefs agree closer transatlantic cooperation

Posted 1 May 2019 · Add Comment

Hot on the heels of glowing praise for the Royal Navy from the US ambassador to Britain, the heads of the two nations’ navies have vowed to work ever closer together.

First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones (left) receives the Legion of Merit – the US military’s seventh highest decoration – from Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson, in recognition of his leadership of the Royal Navy and especially its support of global operations.
Courtesy Royal Navy

The ranking sailors of the UK – First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones – and the USA – Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson – met in Washington DC to discuss ongoing operations, training and exercises involving the two leading navies, with the heads of the two nations’ navies vowing to work ever closer together.

During a day of engagements that included discussions between senior leaders from both sides of the Atlantic, Admiral Jones and Richardson signed a statement reaffirming their commitment to continued cooperation, with a focus on the nuclear deterrent, carrier operations (HMS Queen Elizabeth will once again conduct fast jet training off the Eastern Seaboard of the USA this autumn), force development, greater interoperability for the two fleets to work together seamlessly.

“It is always such an honour and pleasure to meet with my friend and colleague Admiral Sir Philip Jones, as our two nations and navies share a very special relationship,” Admiral Richardson said.

“The First Sea Lord is an exceptional leader and is instrumental in reinvigorating operational capabilities that enabled the United States Navy and the Royal Navy to sail together across the globe providing security that supports our two nations’ shared strategic interests.”

Admiral Jones, who ends his three-year tenure as head of the Royal Navy next month when he hands over to Admiral Tony Radakin, received the Legion of Merit – the US military’s seventh highest decoration – from his American host in recognition of his leadership of the RN and especially its support of global operations which have had a significant impact in European and Middle Eastern waters and the Asia-Pacific region.

He joins a small number of Britons to receive the distinction, among them Royal Marine Maj Gen Rob Magowan and General Peter de la Billière who commanded British forces in the first Gulf War.

During his visit to the States, Admiral Jones also called in on NATO’s Allied Command Transformation, based in Norfolk, Virginia, to discuss the alliance’s work in the Atlantic theatre and present Long Service and Good Conduct medals to long-standing RN personnel, and has been discussing collaboration beneath the waves with US submarine forces.


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