THE captain of the navy’s new aircraft carrier has been given a glowing endorsement to safely bring the £3bn warship into Portsmouth.
Commodore Jerry Kyd is the commanding officer of HMS Queen Elizabeth.
He is very calm and collected and is completely the right person for the jobFlick Drummond, Portsmouth South MP
Next year he will be in charge of ensuring the mighty carrier – the biggest ship ever built for the Royal Navy – will arrive safe and sound in her new home port.
And now, the commanding officer has been given the seal of approval by Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond.
It comes as she visited Queen Elizabeth and her sister ship HMS Prince of Wales at their current base in Rosyth, Scotland.
Mrs Drummond, who has been longing to see the state-of-the-art warships for months, said: ‘They were absolutely enormous.
‘The thing that stuck with me was how wide they are.
‘The thought of them going through Portsmouth Harbour is going to be extraordinary.
‘It will be a real challenge getting her through.
‘I had a chat with Captain Jerry Kyd – he is very calm and collected and is completely the right person for the job. I have absolute confidence in him.’
Cdre Kyd has the perfect background, having previously commanded the UK’s last aircraft carriers, HMS Ark Royal and HMS Illustrious.
Queen Elizabeth is due to arrive in Portsmouth in late spring of next year and will be a global spectacle, with the world’s media expected to descend on the city.
It was an event Cdre Kyd said would be a ‘proud moment for the nation’ and an ‘exceptionally’ proud moment for him as Queen Elizabeth’s first commanding officer.
He said: ‘When I drive HMS Queen Elizabeth past the Round Tower into her home, which will be Portsmouth Naval Base, it is going to be a very special day.’
During Mrs Drummond’s trip to Rosyth, she was given a tour of the two vessels, visiting cabins, mess rooms, a command and control centre, the bridge and the flight decks.
She has previously visited the smaller Type 23 frigates and Type 45 destroyers.
But Mrs Drummond said these warships are nothing compared to the enormous scale of the QEC carriers.
‘It’s a world-class aircraft carrier that we should be very, very proud of,’ she said.
She added the rest of the ship’s company – many of whom live in Portsmouth – were excited about their homecoming next year.
At 280m, Queen Elizabeth length is greater than the 170m height of Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower.