AFCEA International Chapter News
HAMPTON ROADS CHAPTER CHAPTER - Nov 23, 2019

ODU Student Chapter Visits HMS Queen Elizabeth

Students from the AFCEA Old Dominion University (ODU) Student Chapter had the unique opportunity to tour the HMS Queen Elizabeth during her recent port visit to Norfolk, Virginia, in November. The HMS Queen Elizabeth is the lead ship of the Queen Elizabeth class of aircraft carriers, the largest warships ever built for the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom, capable of carrying up to 70 aircraft. She is 932 feet long with a beam of 240 feet at the flight deck and is powered by an integrated electric propulsion system via two Rolls-Royce Marine 36 megawatt MT30 gas turbine alternators and four 10 megawatt diesel engines, enabling her to reach speeds of 32 knots. The ship is named in honor of the first Queen Elizabeth, a World War I-era super-dreadnought, which, in turn, was named after Queen Elizabeth I. HMS Queen Elizabeth was in Norfolk, Virginia, for the final port visit of her 2019 WESTLANT deployment before she headed back to her homeport in Portsmouth, England. This deployment was to undertake the second stage of fixed-wing flight-testing, and would see the F-35B aircraft employed as a full part of the ship's air group. Two UK aircraft squadrons, the 617 Squadron and the 17 Evaluation Squadron, both embarked the HMS Queen Elizabeth for the first time as a combined air wing for training. The deployment was also the first time an operational Carrier Strike Group staff was embarked and employed, as the HMS Queen Elizabeth operates in company with HMS Northumberland, HMS Dragon and supported by the oiler RFA Tideforce. The crew gave the ODU AFCEA students the red carpet treatment. Sub-Lt. Liam Bair of the Royal Navy was an extremely knowledgeable and gracious host throughout the entire visit. He explained the ship's complex systems and shipboard operations while answering all of the students' questions. The students toured the flight deck where they learned how the ship's unique "ski-ramp" propels the F-35 jets off the flight desk. They also visited the hanger bay, bridge, flight control, engineering control and even entered one of the engine rooms where they were given a detailed brief on the operation of one of the large 10 megawatt diesel engines. After the discussion, they entered the engine module and saw the diesel engine up close. Once the module tour was complete, computer science student Matthew Umphlet, started the diesel engine for a maintenance run. Cmdr. Stephen Mills, USN, chapter vice president of military affairs, and Lt. Cmdr. Larry Nicholls, RN, liaison officer to the Joint Staff, helped coordinate the visit. They are working in support of the U.S. Secretary of Defense and the UK Ministry of Defence for the enhanced carrier initiative to deploy a full U.S. Marine Corps F-35 squadron onboard the HMS Queen Elizabeth for their upcoming deployment.

Event Photographs:

Pausing for a photo, Lt. Cmdr. Larry Nicholls, RN, U.S. Joint Staff J-6 UK liaison officer, coordinates a November visit for (l-r) Matthew Unphlet; Skylar Power, Old Dominion University (ODU) student chapter vice president; Ruhi Patel, chapter secretary; Cmdr. Stephen Mills, USN, chapter vice president of military affairs; Brooke White, ODU chapter president; Tim McDonald; and Meghan Mills.
Pausing for a photo, Lt. Cmdr. Larry Nicholls, RN, U.S. Joint Staff J-6 UK liaison officer, coordinates a November visit for (l-r) Matthew Unphlet; Skylar Power, Old Dominion University (ODU) student chapter vice president; Ruhi Patel, chapter secretary; Cmdr. Stephen Mills, USN, chapter vice president of military affairs; Brooke White, ODU chapter president; Tim McDonald; and Meghan Mills.
White poses for a photo on the HMS Queen Elizabeth in November.
White poses for a photo on the HMS Queen Elizabeth in November.

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