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U.S., French Carrier Strike Groups conduct operations together


According to information published by U.S. Central Command on April 16, 2021, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (IKE CSG), began dual-carrier flight operations with the French Navy (Marine Nationale) Charles de Gaulle Carrier Strike Group in the Arabian Sea.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 U.S. Navy F/A-18F and F/A-18E Super Hornet fighter jets, an E-2C Hawkeye tactical airborne early warning aircraft, and French Marine Nationale Dassault Rafale fighter jets fly in formation over the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower CVN 69 (Picture source: U.S. Central Command)


Dual carrier operations between the two strike groups demonstrates the combined military capability fostered by the U.S. Navy as it has worked alongside the French Navy for many years.

IKE and the Charles de Gaulle have a long history of operating together, including air support to Operation Inherent Resolve from the Mediterranean Sea in 2016, and again in 2020 when they conducted maritime operations in the Red Sea.

“Our cooperation is deeply rooted in a common history and especially in decades of mutual training, being the only two navies to sail nuclear powered aircraft carriers with catapult assisted take-off and arrested recovery,” said Rear Adm. Marc Aussedat, commanding officer of France’s Task Force 473 and NAVCENT’s Task Force 50. “This commonality and means and of know how links our two navies and represents a unique opportunity to train and to strengthen our interoperability. Thus our CSGs are ready to work together, as currently within TF 50 in the fight against Daesh and tomorrow, where our common interests will require it.”

France is the U.S.’s oldest ally – dating back to 1781 when they supported the U.S. during the Revolutionary War. In the years since, the strong bond between the two allies has only reinforced this relationship in testing joint combat skills through both World Wars and continuing a long-standing tradition of exceptional partnership.

Deploying ships and aircraft of the IKE CSG, commanded by Rear Adm. Scott F. Robertson, include flagship USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61), guided-missile destroyers USS Mitscher (DDG 57), USS Laboon (DDG 58), USS Mahan (DDG 72), and USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116) and squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3.

Deploying ships of the Charles de Gaulle Carrier Strike Group include flagship of the Marine Nationale FS Charles de Gaulle (R 91), frigates FS Chevalier Paul (D 621) and FS Provence (D 652) and replenishment tanker FS Var (A 608).

The 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The expanse is comprised of 20 countries and includes three chokepoints, critical to the free flow of global commerce.

The Charles de Gaulle (R 91) is a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier currently in service with the French Navy. She stands as the first French-produced nuclear-powered surface craft ever and features a variety of modern high-tech systems that make her major player on the global stage. She fields the powerful naval variant of the Dassault Rafale (known by the designation of "Rafale M") and can also sport a variety of other specialized aircraft and helicopters as needed. The Charles de Gaulle (or "CDG") is the current flagship of the French Navy - also known as the "Marine Nationale".