Exchange pilot flying FA18 Hornet
Lt Matthew King, inspects a laser-guided bomb loaded on the pylon of his FA18 Hornet jet.
The Royal Navy exchange officer is currently attached to the ‘Mighty Shrikes’ –Strike Fighter Squadron 94 – operating with the USS Carl Vinson in theeastern Pacific as part of the US Navy’s Third Fleet.
The flier is part of a wide-ranging training and exchange programme between the Royal and US Navies to pave the way for HMS Queen Elizabeth and the return of fast jet/big carrier operations by the UK which is seeing British air and ground crew, plus flight deck handlers, serving with their American counterparts.
Pictures: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Philip Wagner, U.S. Navy