Dunford Arrives in Scotland, Visits British Bases
EDINBURGH, Scotland --
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff arrived here today to visit British bases and to attend the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo as the guest of the British Chief of Defense Staff Air Chief Marshal Stuart Peach.
Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford will visit the Rosyth shipyard, where the future HMS Prince of Wales is under construction. The aircraft carrier will be the second of the Queen Elizabeth-class of aircraft carriers and will carry 35 F-35B Lightning II aircraft.
Officials expect the carrier, now 80 percent complete, will be turned over to the Royal Navy in 2019.
The Royal Navy is re-entering the aircraft carrier business in a big way. Britain decommissioned the HMS Ark Royal, its last aircraft carrier, in 2010. The HMS Queen Elizabeth began sea trials in June. The 65,000-ton carrier has exercised with U.S. and NATO forces, and Royal Navy personnel embarked on the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush to train for operations aboard the HMS Queen Elizabeth.
The Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales are identical and are the largest ships ever built for the Royal Navy, officials said.
The chairman will also visit the Royal Navy submarine base at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde, where he will meet with sailors and Royal Marines.
The chairman will attend the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle, where he will join Peach in taking the salute. The highlight of the event is the massed pipes and drums celebrating the contributions of Scottish service members worldwide.
(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDoDNews)