US, French Navy Chiefs Discuss Interoperability and Partnership

U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Gilday met with his counterpart Chief of the French Navy Admiral Pierre Vandier at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, January 31st.

The two leaders discussed mutual strengths, the importance of the NATO Alliance, and how to advance interoperability.

“Today’s global challenges underscore the importance of strong partnerships,” said Gilday. “Our partnership with the French is rooted in common values and helps us to take on the challenges of the 21st century.”

He added, “Alongside our Allies and partners we will continue to defend freedom, preserve economic prosperity and keep the seas open and free.”

Vandier expressed a similar sentiment.

“The geopolitical context is shaped by the competition for global commons. Our navies act at the intersection of sea, cyberspace and space. They will play a prominent role in the next decades to maintain peace and stability in our regions,” said Vandier. “Their capability to fight together always make them stronger. The French Navy intends to keep working hard to maintain the best interoperability with its U.S. ally.”

Gilday commended the French navy as a global leader in the maritime domain.

In 2021, the USS Charles de Gaulle served as the Commander, Combined Task Force 50 in the 5th Fleet area of operations and conducted dual carrier operations with the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (IKE CSG) in the Arabian Sea.

Also in 2021, senior French and U.S. officials signed a Strategic Interoperability Framework, which further enhanced a long-lasting and fruitful maritime partnership.

French and U.S. naval forces operate around the globe every day. Most recently, in November 2021, the U.S. Navy participated in France’s Polaris 21 Exercise in the Mediterranean Sea, a high-level operational exercise that stimulates strategic and tactical creativity amongst NATO allies and partners through combat training scenarios across multiple domains of warfare.

Vandier and Gilday have met several times since taking office. In 2021, the two leaders met during a visit by Gilday to Toulon, France, at the International Maritime Security Conference in Singapore, and again when Vandier attended the 24th International Seapower Symposium in Newport, Rhode Island.

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