TOULON, France – U.S. Navy Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday met with Chief of the French Navy Adm. Pierre Vandier June 4, in Toulon, France, to discuss ways to advance high-end interoperability between both navies as well their recently released naval strategies (CNO’s Navigation Plan and Adm. Vandier’s Mercator: Acceleration 2021), the CNO’s public affairs office said in a June 4 release.
“France is our oldest ally, and I am encouraged that the bond of friendship forged between our navies centuries ago continues to grow stronger today with Adm. Vandier at the helm,” said Gilday. “Our maritime forces operate jointly across the globe, including the Indo-Pacific and Middle East, and together, we are where it matters, when it matters.”
French and U.S. Naval forces have participated in a number of exercises and operations together since April, including Steadfast Defender, Jeanne D’Arc (ARC) 21, La Perouse and Dual Carrier operations in 5th Fleet.
“The French navy remains firmly committed to deepening interoperability with our U.S. allies,” said Vandier. “Over the past 20 years, we have seen significant growth in this area, and I look forward to continuing that trajectory in the face of common challenges. To do so, we must work together to ensure our people, processes and technology are able to operate side-by-side, now and in the future.”
During the discussion, Gilday also thanked Vandier for the Charles de Gaulle Strike Group assuming command of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command’s Task Force 50 this past spring.
This was Gilday’s first visit to France as CNO.