The USS Dwight D Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (CSG) has joined with the French Navy for a bilateral, interoperability exercise in the North Arabian Sea.

The vessels that conducted a formation steaming, an air defence exercise, and a surface gunnery exercise included the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D Eisenhower (CVN 69) (IKE), guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG 56) and FS Forbin (D620).

San Jacinto commanding officer Captain Edward Crossman said: “The French have outstanding naval capabilities. We look forward to any chance to work with them as an opportunity to learn and fine-tune our tactics and procedures.

“It’s an absolute win for San Jacinto’s gunslingers to operate with our partners in Forbin. This training makes us stronger as an allied force, dedicated to maintaining regional stability and sustaining freedom of the seas.”

The Strike Group, with its allies and partners, was deployed to the US 5th Fleet area of operations and conducted maritime security operations in international waters.

The ships and aircraft of IKE strike group and the CSG 10 staff include flagship CVN 69; the eight squadrons and staff of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26.

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CVN 69 and the French nuclear-powered aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle (R91) and its escorts took part in interoperability exercises earlier this year in the Mediterranean Sea. They have been at sea for extended periods.

As a precautionary measure against the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, no cross-deck of personnel between the ships occurred during the exercise.

The relationship between the US and French navies and familiarity with each other’s procedures supported the execution of this exercise.