By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ethan Miller, USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Public Affairs
ARABIAN GULF – Rear Adm. Bret Batchelder, commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 8, embarked the deployed French aircraft carrier FS Charles De Gaulle (R 91), Jan. 30.
U.S. and French forces have worked together closely over the last month, supporting coalition strike operations in the Middle East to degrade and destroy the ISIL terrorist organization.
CSG 8 and the Charles De Gaulle Carrier Battle Group are leading naval strike operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
“We look forward to working more and more with [CSG 8], to incorporate two carriers and two carrier strike groups,” said French Navy Rear Adm. Rene-Jean Crignola, commander, Charles De Gaulle Battle Group. “I’m glad [Truman] will be staying in the Gulf. Together we will carry out more deliberate missions than each on our own.”
Dual aircraft carrier operations will help ensure a strong naval force in the region with the necessary air capabilities to support operational requirements while meeting other security commitments.
The longstanding partnership between France and the U.S. predates the current terrorist threat and highlights its benefits now more than ever.
“U.S. and French forces continue our longstanding alliance, and it has enabled greater flexibility and increased pressure on ISIL,” said Batchelder. “Thanks to the professionalism, tenacity, and flawless execution by the Charles De Gaulle Battle Group, our turnover of flight operations has been seamless. We will continue the fight against violent extremism and achieve our objectives during this campaign.”
This is the French Navy’s third deployment in two years to the 5th Fleet area of operations.From Dec. 7 to Jan. 20, the Charles De Gaulle Battle Group led U.S. Naval Forces Central Command’s Task Force (CTF) 50, marking the first time the French have commanded a U.S. Navy task force. Working interchangeably with the U.S. demonstrates a shared commitment to regional security and amplifies the interoperability of the partners’ maritime capabilities during conflict.
“It takes time to develop this level of interoperability in a forward deployed environment,” said Batchelder. “Working in tandem with Charles De Gaulle, we provide nearly 24-hour flight operations in the fight against ISIL. Together we expand our contributions to stability in the region.”
Combined Maritime Forces is a multi-national naval partnership which exists to promote security, stability and prosperity across approximately 2.5 million square miles of international waters, encompasseing some of the world’s most important shipping lanes. CTF-50 is one of 10 task forces operating in the 5th Fleet area of operations—focused on the planning and execution of coalition strike operations.
Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.