French, U.S. Carrier Strike Group Commanders Conduct Flagship Visits in Arabian Sea
28 April 2021
ARABIAN SEA --
The commanders of the U.S. Navy’s Dwight D. Eisenhower (IKE) and French Marine Nationale’s Charles de Gaulle (CDG) carrier strike groups visited each other’s flagships while operating in the Arabian Sea, April 25-26.
Rear Adm. Marc Aussedat, commander of Task Force 473, CDG carrier strike group and U.S. Naval Forces Command’s (NAVCENT) Task Force 50, and Rear Adm. Scott F. Robertson, commander of the IKE carrier strike group, observed the capabilities and crew readiness of the two aircraft carriers to better understand what they bring to combined operations.
“Visiting Charles de Gaulle’s crew right after hosting Rear Adm. Aussedat aboard the mighty IKE was an absolute pleasure,” said Robertson. “Meeting our allies in theater emphasizes just how important our relationships are and provides a better understanding of the men and women who we sail and fly beside as we work toward common goals.”
The visit follows dual-carrier operations between IKE and CDG which were designed to practice communications and coordination between the two strike groups.
“It was a very enriching experience to practice dual-carrier operations with the IKE carrier strike group,” said Aussedat. “The U.S. Navy is a very close partner to the French navy. We are sharing common values, high-end skills and through our interoperability, we promote and defend stability and security.”
The CDG carrier strike group has been operating in command of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command's (NAVCENT) Task Force (TF) 50 since March 31.
Deploying ships of the IKE carrier strike group include aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61), and guided-missile destroyers USS Mitscher (DDG 57), USS Laboon (DDG 58), USS Mahan (DDG 72) and USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116).
Deploying ships of the Charles de Gaulle Carrier Strike Group include the flagship of the aircraft carrier 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 commerce.