WASHINGTON — U.S. Navy Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday conducted a phone call Oct. 15 with the chief of the French navy Adm. Pierre Vandier, the CNO’s public affairs said in a release.
The two leaders discussed issues affecting maritime security and areas to expand cooperation at sea, to include enhancing the two navies’ ability to conduct future high-end operations together.
“The operations our two navies conduct at sea today have been built on centuries of maritime partnership,” said Gilday. “I look forward to working closely with Adm. Vandier for years to come as we sail alongside our French allies to reinforce security, stability and prosperity around the globe.”
Gilday also thanked Vandier during the call for the French navy’s close collaboration during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have a very close bilateral relationship, which has always grown stronger over time,” said Vandier. “We need to find a way to maintain the same degree of interoperability over the long term and seek to better organize our cooperation in order to share a common strategic approach, all over the world.”
The U.S. and French navies frequently operate together around the world. Most recently, USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) and French navy frigate FS La Fayette (F 710) conducted combined operations Oct. 8, 2020, in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Additionally, the two navies have participated together this past year in the NATO exercise Dynamic Mariner, RIMPAC 2020, and conducted dual aircraft carrier flight operations in the Mediterranean Sea.
This phone call was the first between the two leaders since Vandier was appointed 62nd chief of the French navy (Marine Nationale) on Sept. 1, 2020.