US and UK navy chiefs talk cooperation and interoperability

The US Navy’s Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday met with his UK counterpart Royal Navy First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff Adm. Sir Ben Key at the Pentagon on 15 February to discuss cooperation between the two navies.

Credit: US Navy

During the meeting, the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to deepen cooperation and discussed a wide range of issues including strategic competition, interoperability, capabilities, and innovation. 

“Today’s global challenges and security environment emphasize the importance of partnerships and interoperability,” said Gilday.

“Our enduring and strong partnership with the United Kingdom helps us to ensure security, stability and prosperity.” 

This meeting marked the first between the First Sea Lord and CNO and was emblematic of the strong partnership between the two countries.  Discussions were substantive and productive, according to the press office.

Gilday and Key exchanged views about security issues in Europe, the Middle East, and the Indo-Pacific, underscoring the importance of the US-UK bilateral relationship and defense cooperation, as well as the NATO alliance. 

“I am delighted to be in Washington to see my U.S. counterparts. As the Chief of Naval Operations has said, our two navies share an incredible bond, which was most amply demonstrated last year with the many miles we sailed together on the Carrier Strike Group 21 deployment,” said Key.

“The strength of our alliances and partnerships has never been more important and will continue to be imperative to take on the challenges of the 21st century,” added Gilday.  

“I look forward to the continued cooperation between our two countries and our two navies.” 

The two leaders emphasized their navies shared commitment to uphold and advance the rules-based international system. 

The US and Royal Navy operate together around the globe regularly. Most recently, USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) took part in a six-month deployment as part of Carrier Strike Group 21 (CSG21) with HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08).

Both navies also conducted multilateral naval training with Australia and Japan during Maritime Partnership Exercise (MPX) 2021 in October. 

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