NATO's Strategic Warfare Development Command

NATO Allied Command Transformation Leadership Visits HMS Prince of Wales

October 6, 2023

NORFOLK, Virginia.  The senior leadership staff at Headquarters Supreme Allied Commander Transformation visited the United Kingdom’s newest aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, at Norfolk Naval Station today.

Cooperation between the United States and the United Kingdom is still as critical today as ever.  Joint ventures between the two countries, such as their participation in NATO, “5-EYES”, AUKUS and the G7, all represent this significant partnership which contributes to better security not only for their own nations, but for the international community as well.

Leadership stationed at NATO Allied Command Transformation, representing a variety of NATO countries, and their senior staffs, were welcomed aboard the HMS Prince of Wales, provided a tour of the ship’s unique capabilities and enjoyed a lunch aboard with the Commanding Officer of the ship, Captain Richard Hewitt, Royal Navy.

“It was great to show, first hand, the Royal Navy’s commitment to NATO by hosting General Philippe Lavigne and his staff. As Supreme Allied Commander Transformation he identifies and prioritizes future capability and interoperability requirements and channels the results into NATO’s defence planning process,” said Captain Hewitt. “The strike carrier capabilities that we are developing on this deployment will be at the heart of NATO’s future as we demonstrate our commitment to our closest allies and partners.”

Similarly, Vice Admiral Guy Robinson, Royal Navy, who serves as the Chief of Staff at NATO Allied Command Transformation, shared that “today is a great opportunity for me to bring the leadership team of Headquarters Supreme Allied Commander Transformation to visit the United Kingdom’s newest aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales. […] There are many parallels with the mission of Allied Command Transformation to drive the Alliance’s transformation and the step-change in capability that the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers bring to both the United Kingdom Defence and the NATO Alliance. The aviation trials and experimentation that Prince of Wales is undertaking during this deployment, as well as the clear focus on interoperability with Allies, is of real interest to Allied Command Transformation and how it considers the future military transformation of NATO. I am most grateful for the open and engaging discussions with the Prince of Wales command team and her ship’s company.”

HMS Prince of Wales is one of the most powerful warships ever constructed in the United Kingdom at over 281 meters, displacing 65,000 tonnes and housing a maximum ship’s crew of 1,600. The British aircraft carrier is making multiple port calls to Naval Station Norfolk over the next few months as the Royal Navy pushes the boundaries of operating the F35 B lightning stealth fighter in the Atlantic Ocean. Demonstrating both joint and combined capabilities with partners, the Royal Navy warship will also widen the operating envelope of MV-22 operations and conduct UAV trails which have significant national and international interest.

These joint endeavours exhibit the strength of these partnerships, and the importance of continuing to foster them in order to enhance security and stability in the world.