March 8, 2019 – The U.S. 6th Fleet commander, Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti, at the invitation the operational commander for the Mediterranean, Vice Adm. Charles-Henri du Ché, visited the French aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle March 7 as the ship and its carrier strike group (CSG) began its long-planned deployment.
While on board, Franchetti toured the ship, observed flight operations, and received a presentation on the integration of U.S. and partner forces with the French CSG during the Charles de Gaulle’s major naval deployment.
“I greatly appreciate Vice Adm. du Ché’s invitation to fly out to the Charles de Gaulle,” said Franchetti. “It was a tremendous privilege to see Rear Adm. Lebas and his strike group operating together at sea. This deployment provides an excellent opportunity for the US and other NATO allies to work together and strengthen our combined high-end warfighting capabilities.”
Franchetti also had the opportunity to meet with U.S. Navy and Air Force officers participating in the Personnel Exchange Program, along with a liaison officer from the U.S. Army, serving aboard the French aircraft carrier. Participating in exchange programs with countries like France improves U.S. 6th Fleet’s interoperability with partner navies and services.
“Our relationship with France is strong and deeply-rooted in a shared commitment to ensuring the maritime domain remains free, supporting security and prosperity throughout the region,” said Franchetti.
U.S. 6th Fleet assets routinely exercise and operate with our French counterparts in exercises throughout the European region. Most recently, the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) and two P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft participated in the French exercise FANAL, the multinational advanced training period for the CSG, its units and staff to enhance training and combat readiness as a collective group.
Continuing to integrate in training, exercises, and real world operations with the French navy, a long-standing ally, will remain a top priority for Franchetti and the U.S. 6th Fleet.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.