HMS Queen Elizabeth: Meet Royal Navy warship's new Commanding Officer

The new commaning officer has taken over the reins of the HMS Queen Elizabeth as she prepares to leave New York City.Â

By The Newsroom
Friday, 26th October 2018, 4:17 pm
Updated Friday, 26th October 2018, 5:25 pm
Captain Nick Cooke-Priest. Picture: HMS Queen Elizabeth/ Royal Navy/ Twitter
Captain Nick Cooke-Priest. Picture: HMS Queen Elizabeth/ Royal Navy/ Twitter

Britain's £3.1bn warship has been anchored in the Hudson River since last Friday (October 19), but is preparing to leave today (October 26). 

However while HMS Queen Elizabeth's first ever Commanding Officer Captain Jerry Kyd sailed her into the Big Apple, a different man will be at the helm as she sails out of the city. 

Here's what you need to know: 

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Captain Nick Cooke-Priest. Picture: HMS Queen Elizabeth/ Royal Navy/ Twitter

Who is HMS Queen Elizabeth's new CO? 

Captain Kyd handed over the reins to the 33,000 tonne aircraft carrier this week to Captain Nick Cooke-Priest OBE RN. 

Captain Cooke-Priest will lead HMS Queen Elizabeth through the next phase of flight trials before sailing her back to Portsmouth before the end of the year. 

Yesterday, HMS Queen Elizabeth tweeted: '˜It may be a chilly 7 degrees in New York City, but we have turned up the heating onboard to give the warmest welcome to our new Commanding Officer.

'˜Capt Nick Cooke-Priest OBE RN will take 55,000 tonnes of #GlobalBritain into DT-2 and onto Initial Operating Capability Maritime.' 

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Who is Captain Cooke-Priest? 

He joined the Royal Navy in 1990 he specialised as a Lynx helicopter observer after initial officer training at Dartmouth. 

He was promoted to Commander in 2009 and took command of Frigates Kent and Iron Duke '“ with the latter deployed to Libya as part of Operation Ellamy. 

What has Captain Kyd said? 

Upon arriving in New York City last week, Captain Kyd said: '˜I am delighted and proud to have brought HMS Queen Elizabeth into New York Harbour for the first time.

'˜This visit is very symbolic of the intimate relationship the Royal Navy has with the US Navy and Marine Corps and comes at the mid-way point in the F-35 flight trials '“ we have over 170 embarked US staff at the moment on board in support.

'˜It has been a superb effort by everyone across the Integrated Test Force and HMS Queen Elizabeth so far '“ I could not be more pleased with the team spirit and dynamism shown by all.

'That has delivered a volume of quality data which has put us well ahead of where we expected to be at this stage.

'˜I am very grateful to all the Integrated Test Force folk who have been focused, professional and willing to go the extra mile.'

What is HMS Queen Elizabeth doing next? 

The warship will be continuing historic flight tests in America over the coming weeks. 

They will resume with far more achieved in the first three weeks than anticipated.

So far there have been:

- 98 take-offs using the ski ramp

- the first '˜rolling' landing, bringing the F-35 to a stop on the flight deck instead of the aircraft dropping down vertically

- night flying

- and even some rough weather trials to begin pushing the conditions in which the carrier can operate her air power safely.