US, French Navies Finish Carrier Strike Group Exercises
US, French Navies Finish Carrier Strike Group Exercises

The combined navies of the United States and France just finished a series of combined carrier strike group operations over a five-week period in the Middle East.

The combined strike group operations featured the participation of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group and French Navy Task Force 473, which also includes the French Carrier FS Charles de Gaulle. Operations began in late December.

According to Navy officials, the carrier strike group operations involved routine maritime security and training events.

U.S. F/A-18 Hornets and Super Hornets spent five weeks landing and launching from the Charles de Gaulle. Similarly, French aircraft conducted operations from the Harry S. Truman. The two navies use different hand and launch signals.

“The [Charles de Gaulle] is a bit smaller than the Truman, and they use an older version of the lens that we use to judge where you are on glide slope, but the rest of the procedures were nearly identical,” said Lt. Cmdr. Rob Littman, who landed an F/A-18 Hornet on the Charles de Gaulle. “I was more excited than nervous,” he added.

“Quite frankly, I think this is the first time this has ever happened — period — that we’ve done this level of cooperation and inter-operations before,” said Rear Adm. Kevin Sweeney.

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