MEDITERRANEAN SEA (NNS), Dec. 8, 2016 —
Leadership from the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group and French Charles de Gaulle Battle Group met while operating in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, Dec. 6.
Rear Adm. Jim Malloy, commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10, flew from aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike) onto French aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle (R91) to meet with Rear Adm. Olivier Lebas, commander, Task Force 473, to discuss coalition efforts to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and importance of operating together to ensure security and stability in the area.
The meeting occurred as Charles de Gaulle transited alongside Ike and conducted flight operations in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
The Charles de Gaulle Carrier Battle Group has been leading the coalition in naval strike operations aimed to ultimately destroy the ISIL terrorist organization from the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Charles de Gaulle's presence in the region has provided continuous carrier-based naval aviation to combat ISIL during its deployment, which has been extended twice.
The Charles de Gaulle Battle Group also integrated American guided-missile destroyers USS Ross (DDG 71) and USS Mason (DDG 87) into its air defense operations.
"This fight against terrorism, the fight against ISIL, is an international affair," Lebas said. "It is necessary that all nations fight together. Thus, the proximity and cooperation between the French and American aircraft carriers is a perfect illustration of this collective work against ISIL."
The United States and France have built the oldest alliance between any American and European nations, and these 200 years of trust have allowed the Ike CSG to take over the Charles de Gaulle's area of operation as the French carrier prepares for a scheduled maintenance period. Pre-coordination between the two strike groups will allow dual-carrier operations to be carried out in the Mediterranean Sea during the transition. Prior to this, the Ike CSG was operating in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.
"The high level of interoperability and trust between France and the U.S. allows for seamless operations between the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group and the Charles de Gaulle Carrier Battle Group in our fight against 'Daesh,'" Malloy said. "This relationship will continue to bolster our fight against terrorism by cooperatively maintaining an enduring presence capable of delivering lethal strikes from the sea."
Ike, embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3 and the Ike CSG are deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, maritime security operations, and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.