|Posted by George Freund on November 24, 2022 at 7:45 PM|
From top clockwise ITS Cavour (CVH 550), FS Charles de Gaulle (R91), USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77)
USS George HW Bush (CVN-77) along with Italy's ITS Cavour (CVH 550) and France's Charles de Gaulle (R 91) are conducting exercises in the Ionian Sea a week after the Pentagon announced that five allied aircraft would operate in Europe.
"Throughout November, five aircraft carriers will operate in the Adriatic and Mediterranean Seas, demonstrating their shared commitment to the collective defense of the Alliance," NATO sources said.
"We are stronger when we work together, and operations like these underscore not only our interoperability, but our interchangeability with our partners and allies," said Vice Adm. Dennis Velez, commander, Carrier Strike Group 10.
"Demonstrating the tremendous power and lethality that the Alliance brings to the Ionian Sea is one of the surest ways to deter aggression," said Rear Adm. Dennis Velez, commander of the George HW Bush aircraft carrier battle group.
"Since the beginning of our new operation called ANTARES, we have been working closely with the Allies and sharing a common picture and assessment of the situation," explained French Vice-Admiral Christophe Cluzel, commander of the French battle group which also includes a Greek frigate.
“Carrier operations are demanding and require the highest level of coordination. By maintaining a watchful posture, they strengthen our ability to secure wide areas, and prevent any destabilization in the Mediterranean and at the same time, strengthen NATO's deterrent and defensive posture on its eastern side," he stressed.
Italian Vice-Admiral Vincenzo Montanaro, commander of the Italian Naval Forces, said: "our commitment to security demonstrates the Alliance's collective resolve in the region."
CVN-77 with Carrier Air Wing 7 and its escort vessels have been operating in the Mediterranean Sea since August. Prior to its arrival in the region, the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) and CVW-1 had been in the Mediterranean Sea since December prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
And Truman had practiced with Charles de Gaulle and Cavour. The Charles de Gaulle left the port of Toulon last week for the Antares mission, where the aircraft carrier and its air wing will be deployed in the Mediterranean and Indian Oceans, according to the French Navy.
It is accompanied by ships from France, the US and Greece, but the French Navy did not provide further details. Also there were the USS Roosevelt (DDG-80), the Hellenic Navy frigate Adrias (F459), the Italian Navy FREMM frigate Virginio Fasan (F591) and the French FREMM frigate DA Alsaceer.
U.S. aircraft carriers USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) and USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) will exercise with aircraft carriers from France, Italy and the United Kingdom as part of a joint operation across Europe meant to show NATO interoperability, the Pentagon announced Thursday.
The two American carrier strike groups, their embarked air wings and escorts will be operating in the North Atlantic Ocean, North Sea and Mediterranean Sea along with the U.K. Royal Navy’s HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08), Italian carrier ITS Cavour (CVH 550) and the French FS Charles de Gaulle (R 91), Sabrina Singh, deputy Pentagon press secretary, told reporters Thursday.
“These operations present an opportunity for allied nations to coordinate critical combat power throughout the Euro-Atlantic area while showcasing NATO cohesion and interoperability,” Singh said. “It is also an opportunity to test allied cooperation and to practice NATO’s deter and defend concepts across all geographic areas, operational domains and functional areas of the alliance.”
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