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Russia Can’t Do This: NATO Has 5 Aircraft Carriers Patrolling

USS Gerald R. Ford
200604-N-QI093-1142 ATLANTIC OCEAN (June 4, 2020) The Ford-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) and the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) transit the Atlantic Ocean, June 4, 2020, marking the first time a Ford-class and a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier have operated together underway. Gerald R. Ford is underway conducting integrated air wing operations and the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group remains at sea in the Atlantic Ocean as a certified carrier strike group force ready for tasking in order to protect the crew from the risks posed by COVID-19, following their successful deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ruben Reed/Released

NATO Had 5 Aircraft Carriers Patrolling: NATO has essentially created a ring around the waters of Europe, as five different aircraft carrier strike groups (CSGs) are now on patrol – highlighting the naval cooperation of the alliance. Last week, NATO announced that member navies would be conducting maneuvers in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea throughout the rest of the month.

NATO Goes Aircraft Carrier Crazy

A total of five aircraft carriers, along with numerous other warships and thousands of sailors, would be taking part in the exercises. Carrier activities include anti-submarine and air warfare drills, deck-to-deck aircraft transfers, and at-sea resupplying.

“NATO routinely demonstrates its cohesion, coordinating with multiple international maritime assets at once,” said Vice Admiral Keith Blount, Commander, NATO Allied Maritime Command. “This opportunity demonstrates our ironclad commitment to the stability and security of the Euro-Atlantic Area and the strength of our collective capability. Five carriers within our operating area presents a further opportunity to consolidate our approach to air defence, cross-domain cooperation and maritime-land integration.”

Participating forces comprise the CSGs formed in support of the French Navy’s Charles De Gaulle (R-91), the Italian Navy’s ITS Cavour (CVH-550), the United Kingdom Royal Navy’s HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08), and the United States Navy’s USS George H.W. Bush and USS Gerald R. Ford.

“These operations present an opportunity for allied nations to coordinate credible combat power throughout the Euro/Atlantic area, while showcasing NATO cohesion and interoperability,” Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said during last Thursday’s briefing at the Pentagon. “It is also an opportunity to test allied cooperation and to practice NATO’s deter and defend concepts across all geographic areas, operational domains and functional areas of the Alliance.”

Operations in the North Atlantic

The USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), the world’s newest and largest warship, is currently on her maiden deployment and recently conducted a port-of-call visit to Portsmouth in the UK, and has been conducting drills alongside warships from Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain.

The Royal Navy’s flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth had previously departed from Portsmouth on November 10, after returning from a visit to the United States as part of a bilateral naval security conference in New York City. The carrier was forced to step in for her sister carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, which suffered a propeller mishap and is currently undergoing repairs.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is now taking part in F-35 fighter jet drills in the North Atlantic.

Mediterranean Naval Drills

The French CSG departed Toulon on November 15 for deterrence patrols on NATO’s eastern flank and counter-terrorism operations in the Middle East. As part of Mission Antares, the French carrier will operate with ships from the Hellenic, Italian and American navies, with some 3,000 service members from France and partners taking part.

Also in the region are the ITS Cavour and USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77).

The George H.W. Bush CSG has been operating in the Mediterranean since August when it replaced the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group. Bush and USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) operated together briefly before Truman returned home to Norfolk, Va., the first time two U.S. aircraft carriers were in the Mediterranean together in several years.

France Aircraft Carrier

French Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle.

Absent from the drills is the aforementioned HMS Prince of Wales, which is certainly unfortunate as it is officially the NATO flagship.

A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,000 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.

Written By

Expert Biography: A Senior Editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,000 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.



  1. xheavy

    November 21, 2022 at 6:27 pm

    RU has the Bastion Doctrine now. On the shorelines capable of reaching anywhere 1000 plus miles to any Carrier Target faster than that warship can go from normal Cruising to General Quarters. It takes a few minutes to do it. The RU Bastion Missiles will arrive in sufficient numbers to overwhelm the local fleet defenses available near or aboard the Carriers.

    Lets not mention that when I was younger, we built carriers, ships for escorts and they sail the seas 50 years before being scrapped. At sea 50 years. Refueled twice refitted twice.

    The reason I dont want to speak of that is because we have had for over a decade after the 9-11 time most of our Carriers quietly rusting in port. Several have returned recently in very bad condition in severe need of refit. The rest of the carriers swing on their hawsers tied to the docks in Norfolk and other places slowly rusting and rotting.

    Lets not say that perhaps the UK can provide 10 escort ships for each of their two newest carriers. Thats pretty much their entire fleet world wide. There is hardly any money in it from them for themselves.

    While our carriers quietly rot in port on both coasts.

    When China came out to blockade Taiwan weeks ago while paying no attention whatsover to any existing lines, treaties or whatever our Carriers stayed put with several exceptions. We should have emptied the West Coast by the end of that first week they deployed around Taiwan.

    After that episode Taiwan cannot depend on the USA being able to man, provision, put airwings and ammo up all the Carriers inside of a week. Then ten more days across a Pacific. Whoopie.

    When I was a child our Carriers sailed the 7 seas 50 years. When I grow old and become a Adult, our Carriers rust for 50 years. Because there is no more money, resolve or tradition left to do much more than just ones and twos once or twice a year to showboat somewhere in places that really does not matter anymore.

    5 carriers. Meh.

    If we had fully 5 carriers and their complete 16 ship task forces with each one then RU has no choice but to really mobilize in fear. Otherwise its a shadow of what it could be.

  2. Slim

    November 21, 2022 at 7:12 pm

    The sad part of that aside from the incredible amount of fuel they use and it’s effects on the environment….is it shouldn’t be an excercise it should be them surrounding Russia demanding an end to unnecessary killing of innocents.

  3. GhostTomahawk

    November 22, 2022 at 1:05 am

    Who cares? NATO isn’t going to attack Russian warships regardless of where they are. So a show of force is a pointless gesture and everyone should know it.

  4. froike

    November 22, 2022 at 12:28 pm

    I have to agree with my fellow posters…This is quite an EXPENSIVE “Show of Force”. Enjoyable to watch, but to what purpose?

  5. Fred Adams

    November 26, 2022 at 12:58 pm

    XHEAVY uses English like a Russian. I suspect he is a Russian troll, pretending to be an American.

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