JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. –
The HMS Monmouth, a ship of the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy, visited the Port of Charleston Nov. 8-12, 2018. The ship, also known as the “Black Duke” by its crew, was greeted upon arrival by Capt. Kevin Byrne, Joint Base Charleston deputy commander; Cmdr. William Edenbeck, Naval Support Activity Charleston executive officer; and Master Chief Petty Officer Jonathan Lonsdale, NSA Charleston command master chief.
The Monmouth has been up and down the Eastern Seaboard participating in exercises and supporting events with the U.S. military. The ship recently supported Fleet Week Baltimore and has engaged in a number of training exercises.
“The ship has been integrated with a number of U.S. assets, including the USS Lassen and Carrier Strike Group II, to support the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth with her F-35B Lightning II fighter jet flying trials,” said Cmdr. Will King, Commanding Officer of HMS Monmouth. “During our deployment with the HMS Queen Elizabeth, our mission is to escort the new carrier and the new jets. The deployment also involves exercises to prove the ship's ability to operate with other nations’ ships and aircraft.”
The Monmouth has been able to separate from escorting HMS Queen Elizabeth for three or four days at a time to support training and defense engagement events along the U.S. coast. The ship was in Charleston to support Veteran’s Day events and to participate in ceremonies at the Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina.
“It was great getting to personally greet Cmdr. King and the rest of the HMS Monmouth’s team,” said Byrne. “JB Charleston has genuine, strong foreign partnerships and this was just one example of those strong relationships. It’s important for our entire community, whether that be Navy, Air Force or local civic leaders, to support our international allies in order to improve our global presence.”
King echoed Byrne’s enthusiasm for the foreign partnerships, noting that such efforts bring benefit to everyone.
“We are very excited to be here,” said King. “It has been really worthwhile going up and down the Eastern Seaboard. We have done a number of events with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force, participating in missions and exercises. It’s been impressive working alongside the United States and a very worthwhile integration of forces.”
King hosted a luncheon aboard the ship for JB Charleston base leadership as well as local leaders of the community, including Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg. Upon his arrival, Tecklenburg welcomed every member of the ship’s company he came in contact with. He mentioned he was very excited to host the ship’s company in Charleston and to learn about their mission.
Byrne also spoke on the importance of enhancing foreign partnerships and how learning about each others missions benefits Joint Base Charleston and the global interests of the United States.
“Team Charleston provides continuous support to the joint warfighter. Our Sailors consistently work side-by-side with joint and international partners, protecting our strategic interests at sea, both here and abroad,” said Byrne. “It’s important to build partnerships with our allies because it enhances deterrence, builds regional stability, increases capabilities and ensures access. It is our honor to support this mission by welcoming and learning more about our partners in the Royal British Navy.”