Jan. 19 (UPI) -- The United States and Britain confirmed a joint declaration Tuesday for the Carrier Strike Group 2021 deployment to be led by Britain's aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.
Signed by acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller and British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, the joint declaration enables the deployment of U.S. Navy and Marine Corps equipment and personnel as part of the inaugural operational deployment of the Carrier Strike Group.
"This deployment underscores the strength of our bilateral ties and demonstration U.S.-U.K. interoperability, both of which are key tenets of the U.S. National Defense Strategy," the Defense Department said in a statement.
"The leaders look forward to seeing the culmination of nearly a decade of U.S.-[Britain] carrier cooperation when Carrier Strike Group 2021 sets sail from Portsmouth, [Britain], later this year."
On Jan. 4, the British government announced that the Carrier Strike Group achieved initial operating capability.
HMS Queen Elizabeth was commissioned in 2017, and live weapons training was completed in October off the coast of Scotland as part of Exercise Joint Warrior.
The HMS Queen Elizabeth leads the Strike Group, which includes nine ships, 15 British and U.S. fighter planes, and 11 helicopters.
"I am delighted that [Britain] now possesses a 21st century Carrier Strike capability, which has been greatly assisted by the unswerving support and cooperation of the United States at all levels over the past decade," Wallace said in a statement.
"This deployment embodies the strength of our bilateral ties and reflects the depth and breadth of this vital defense and security partnership," Wallace said.