Commodore Steve Moorhouse

Meet the Commander of the UK Carrier Strike Group that will travel around the world

We interviewed Commodore Steve Moorhouse who spoke about the Carrier Strike Group’s upcoming global deployment

Led by the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, the UK Carrier Strike Group will deploy around the globe alongside allies.

Leading this landmark deployment is Commodore Steve Moorhouse.

The Carrier Strike Group on Exercise Strike Warrior on the coast of Scotland before their global deployment.

Get to know the man that will be commanding the UK Carrier Strike Group👇

Tell us about the Carrier Strike Group and its mission.

“Carrier Strike Group 21 is fundamentally about demonstrating and proving the Carrier Strike capability. Over the last two to three years when we’ve been to sea, it’s been at a lower level, but this is now increasing in scale and complexity with all the support shipping and the full range of aircraft.”

What will you be doing on deployment?

“We will sail from the United Kingdom through the Mediterranean, operating with NATO and partners there in support of ongoing operations. There will be a period of time in the Middle East before pushing on out into the Indo-Pacific region and at all times, ready for real-world events.”

“It is a busy programme of engagement, operations and exercises with our key partners and allies.”

Captain Steve Moorhouse in 2017, before promotion to Commodore.
Captain Steve Moorhouse in 2017, before promotion to Commodore.

Why is this deployment important?

It’s absolutely important: one, to prove that military hard power capability, integrating the F-35s and the frigates, destroyers, submarines, support shipping into the group, and two, supporting the wider government’s objectives, particularly as part of the Prime Minister’s Global Britain vision.

How have the crew and the group in general prepared for this?

“First and foremost a huge thanks to all of them, and particularly their families. Getting ready for deployment is always difficult, but to do it as we’ve seen in the last year against the backdrop of COVID has been even more challenging.

“In a very strange way, we will be deploying from the UK at a time when families and loved ones of course are just breaking out from a lockdown and getting more freedom.

“With the exercising, the force generation that we’ve been through has been as rigorous and robust as always, but it’s been an increased challenge due to COVID.”

What sort of international allies are you going to be working with?

“Throughout the deployment, we will be supported by the United States Navy and Marine Corps. Also, the Dutch Navy will be providing a frigate with us throughout which will be a wonderful complement to the Royal Navy frigates and destroyers.

“But almost from day one on the deployment, we’ll be exercising and operating with key partners. So initially, that will be very much NATO focused in the Mediterranean region, but also a number of bilateral exercises with F-35 partners such as Italy and Israel, and then as we move further east, we’re looking to exercise and visit key partners such as Singapore, Japan and the Republic of Korea.”

How long are you expecting the whole deployment to take?

“If the plan at the moment holds, then all being well, we should be back before the end of the year but rarely have I ever deployed in the Royal Navy and actually undertaken the plan, so we’ll be ready for anything.”

The Carrier Strike Group.
The UK Carrier Strike Group.

Is there anything you can tell us about the day-to-day life on the ship?

“The key thing about day-to-day life for me, and it’s probably the reason I joined the Navy is that one day is never like the other. Every moment that you get up, you’re never quite sure what’s going to happen.

“Fundamentally, that’s from the weather, and how that will impact on you but again with real-world events it’s always a challenge. It keeps you on your toes, it’s what keeps it interesting.

“It’s also the people. On one end of the spectrum, you have people like myself who are close to 30 years of service, and for others, this will be their first-ever deployment and probably the longest they’ve ever been away from home. So, it’s a real family, a large village community. And our job over the first few days is to really build that spirit and ethos amongst us all.”

“It’s a huge challenge, but one we’re really looking forward to.”

Commodore Steve Moorhouse in Saudi Arabia (2018).
Commodore Steve Moorhouse in Saudi Arabia (2018).

Any final thoughts?

“I would just like to do my sincere thanks to everybody involved in the enterprise. And that’s from loved ones at home that have supported their spouses, friends, family, whatever on this endeavour, as well as all of industry, Civil Service and the wider military that have got us to the start line.

“So my thanks to all of them, and I look forward to returning at the end of the year, hopefully with a good news story to tell them.”

“This is now the moment where we have to take responsibility and set sail and deliver it.”

Find out where else the UK Armed Forces are deployed here 👇

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