Defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon has emphasised Britain’s commitment to defeating Daesh after strengthening relations with the US.
Sir Michael has signed an agreement with the US defence secretary Ash Carter to allow US Marine Corps F-35B aircraft to fly from the UK’s new Queen Elizabeth class carrier.
The announcement means that the UK and US personnel will work even closer together on operations, exercises and training.
UK pilots, engineers and deck handlers are currently operating from US Navy carriers, developing skills for carrier strike operations, which will be important for when it comes to deploy the new British carriers.
Daesh has lost 11 cities to Iraqi forces in 2016, and now holds less than a tenth of Iraq territory. Sir Michael hopes that this closer relationship will permanently disable the terrorist organisation.
He said: “As Britain’s pre-eminent operational partner, including in our current fight against Daesh, the inter-operability of British and American forces is crucial.
“Having British and US F35s alongside each other aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth on its first operational tour, will further cement our close defence ties as Britain steps up internationally.
“Britain and America’s long-standing defence and intelligence sharing epitomises the special relationship that helps keeps both our nations safer and more secure.”