SPEECH | Sept. 13, 2019

Remarks As Delivered by Adm. James G. Foggo III at the First Alliance’s Colloquium in Paris, Sept. 13, 2019.

(First half delivered in French)

Français, Françaises, Monsieur l’Ambassadeur, Invitées Distingues, Anciens Combattants et mes Camarades Américains, c’est un honneur et un plaisir de me joindre à vous aujourd’hui. Comme son excellence monsieur l’Ambassadeur l’a noté, je soutiens, avec passion, la continuité de l’alliance Français‐ Americain.

On m'a demandé de parler de l'alliance stratégique entre nos deux pays‐‐aujourd'hui et demain‐‐mais je voudrais prendre un peu de liberté pour modifier légèrement le thème et discuter « d’hier, d’aujourd'hui et de demain ».

La semaine dernière, le 4 septembre, le Vice‐amiral d’escadre Lisa Franchetti, commandant de la Sixième flotte américaine, a présenté au Vice‐amiral d’escadre Charles‐Henri du Che, CECMED, une Légion du mérite remise par les États‐Unis, en signe de notre reconnaissance pour ses efforts considérables en vue d'améliorer l'interopérabilité et la capacité de nos deux marines à travailler ensemble pour assurer la sécurité et la stabilité dans la région.

La France est l’un des plus anciens alliés des États‐Unis. L’alliance stratégique est une alliance durable. Il y a trois ans, pendant mon affectation en tant que commandant de la Sixième flotte américaine, que l’Amiral Du Che m’a donné un tout petit cadeau formidable. C’est ici‐‐un collage « original » avec le mantra : ARROMANCHES III (Trois).

Cela représente les liens forts entre ma famille et la France depuis plus d’un siècle. FOGHOU est un nom d'origine normande.

Voila, je commence avec l’ARROMANCHES I (UN) : Mes deux grands‐pères ont combattu dans les tranchées a cote des Français pendant la Première Guerre mondiale… Ici mon grand‐père maternel, Harold, qui a reçu la Croix de guerre avec la palme pour son action à Courcelette en sauvetage des blesses au Front Occidental.

Mon grand‐père paternal, James, était membre des Winnipeg Grenadiers des Forces Canadiennes.

Sur la gauche se trouve un photo de jeune homme s’engageant à la poursuite d’une carrière du banquier. À droite, à la fin de la guerre, il était capitaine saisonne et récipiendaire de la Croix Militaire du roi Britannique lors de la bataille de Bourlon Wood, auprès de Cambrai en France. Harold et James se sont tous deux battus avec leurs camarades lors de nombreuses expériences poignantes en France, tout en étant dévoués à ceux qui se trouvaient à leurs côtés sur la même ligne.

A la prochaine, ARROMANCHES II (Deux)… Mon père, Stewart, a rejoint le régiment du lac Supérieur [écossais] de la 4e division d'infanterie canadienne en tant que sous‐lieutenant Foggo et débarqua en Normandie le 19 juillet 1944.

Sa carte de batailles, de Normandie at la fin de la guerre, est à cote de son photo ici. Ses concitoyens et lui‐même se sont battus en France, la Belgique, Pays‐Bas et l’Allemagne ‐ Crépon, Caen, Vauchelles, Château de Mondeville, Verrières, Cintheaux, Garcelles de Sequeville, Saint‐Sylvan, Falaise, Brugges, le Rhin. Les pertes étaient lourdes...

Et pour moi, cette photo représente le commencement de mon voyage: l’ARROMANCHES III (Trois).

Mon père restait dans l’Armée de Terre après l’Armistice. En résultat, vous pourriez dire que je suis né dans l'OTAN – En fait, je suis né à Mönchengladbach, en Allemagne, au sein de l'OTAN, dans le quartier général de l'armée du Nord à Rheindahlen. Ce poste que je m’occupe aujourd’hui à Naples, est ma cinquième affectation en Europe, mon quatrième commandement dans l’OTAN et cela veut dire que je suis un trans‐atlantiste convaincu!

J'ai fait mes études ici en France, à l'Université de Strasbourg, au coeur de la Communauté européenne. Sur la photo, c’estm moi, Lieutenant de vaisseau Foggo, a eu l'honneur de hisser le drapeau tricolore et de dévoiler un monument à Rehaupal, en Alsace‐Lorraine, commémorant le courage du maire de la ville, et d'autres membres de la Résistance qui ont été brutalement assassinés par le Nazi Klaus Barbie, le boucher de Lyon. Mon séjour à Strasbourg m'a permis de mieux comprendre pourquoi nos deux grands pays ont un lien aussi fort. Nous partageons des idéaux communs et un engagement envers la liberté, l’égalité et la fraternité.

Et maintenant, avec votre permission, je voudrais continuer mes remarques en Anglais.

Which is 80% French but I will annunciate it poorly. Arc de Triomphe, with the west point cadets just before this picture was taken 11 November 2015. I had a counterpart visit with Vice Adm. Yves Joly onboard Le Shaw in the Mediterranean. We had four U.S. Navy exchange officers onboard. A woman flying the E-2C Hawkeye, a pilot flying the Super Etendard, another pilot flying a plane-guard helicopter and a maintenance man helping to run the aviation flight deck. A great example of the linkage between our two navies and our countries. After this rewarding visit I had an opportunity to attend the solemn remembrance ceremony of 11 November 2015 with General Huntoon’s west point cadets at the Arc de Triomphe. I distinctly remember the event because President Hollande did not give a speech, he simply walked among the families of the fallen and recognized their sacrifice. Very presidential. Two days after that memorial ceremony as my wife and I took off on Friday the 13th back to Naples, terrorist, struck in Paris. Bataclan Theater, Stade de France during a football match, cafes and restaurants - 130 innocent victims murdered. Out of the tragedy of that day emerged a steadfast resolve and demonstration of the commitment between our two nations to fight terrorism. *slide*

So here we are, Charles‐Henri Du Che and me. The French response to terrorist attacks was swift and strong, America was by your side. This is our picture onboard a helicopter flying to the eastern Mediterranean in Arromanches 3 from September to December 2016 preparing for strikes on terrorist targets in Syria and Iraq. We went to the USS Ross. *slide*

That was our first stop. An example of comradery, friendship, trust, confidence, alliance, partnership. The integration of Ross in the Charles de Gaulle strike group to provide collective defense against air threats or threats on the sea demonstrates the resolve of our alliance. It was significant because, you see, France had what we call TACON of this asset. My ship under French tactical control. It takes an order from the secretary of defense to allow an American war ship to be operated - to be moved - to be placed and to be put anywhere in the eastern Mediterranean in support of that strike group by a French commander. That is significant. That is trust. Se la confiance. *slide*

That day I watched aircraft take off from the flight deck of Charles de Gaulle in some configuration we call wings dirty. You see laser guided bombs circled in yellow on that aircraft on the left. I stayed onboard and those aircraft from that squadron struck terrorist targets in Syria and Iraq and came back the same day wings clean. No laser guided bombs left, which meant a few more terrorist were taken off the grid. *slide*

We did it again 14 April 2018 at 2 a.m. Paris time when France, the United States, and British forces joined together to respond to Assad’s regime use of chemical weapons. The French air force launched Rafale and Mirage jets. The French frigate Languedoc fired three missile de croisiere naval, and USS John Warner my submarine fired tomahawk missiles. In an allied support or an allied show of solidarity we deployed 105 missiles and destroyed they chemical weapons sites that significantly impacted the Syrian regime’s ability to terrorize their own people. Now, General de Gualle had a chief of defense named General Iray. He used to say, “Nous defendons a tous azimuts!"

So there are other treats besides terrorist in this region. We look to the north, we look to the south, we look to the east - we see Russia. I am a strong believer in collective defense. I am a strong believer in Article 5 of the North Atlantic treaty, in fact as Jim Stavridis convinced me to do I carry a copy of that treaty with me 24/7 in my back pocket. There is no better example of the credibility of Article 5 in the Alliance’s resolve than exercise Trident Juncture which took place last October-November almost a year ago this time. It was under my command from JFC Naples and we had 50,000 soldiers, sailortroiss, airmen and marines from all 29 nations, and two partner nations - Sweden and Finland - in Norway defending Norway after an attack on their territory. Two-hundred and fifty combat aircraft, 70 large deck vessels and ships, capital ships, and about 10,000 tracked vehicles, tanks and armored all over the Norwegian country side. We produced a video, two Romanian combat cameramen, to show our friends at Brussels what we had done and how we had spent their money in terms of collective defense in Article 5. The first person to see it was Jens Stoltenberg, secretary general of NATO a man who was prime minister of Norway for 10 years and truly a Wiking or a Viking and this video is for him. Go ahead and play the tape. Trident Juncture. *video plays*

Well, a short tape. That wasn’t all of it. The best part of it is when at the end when all 29 nations’ names appear on the screen and it says “we are NATO,” and that was the message that Secretary General Stoltenberg took away. You couldn’t rebuild this alliance now if you tried. To start it from now in the 21st century it would be impossible. It is 70 years of experience and 70 years of peace thanks to NATO. And you can tell I’m a firm believer. Other threats - I said north, I said east, I said south. We are facing many, many challenges on the continent of Africa and we are there - France and the United States - alongside one another. These are French paratroopers and American paratroopers in Djibouti, who have just jumped to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the landing in Normandy on D-day the 6th of June earlier this year, and I think that tells you a lot about the comradery between our troops in the field. *slide*

This is my get off the stage slide, I couldn’t think of a better one than dual carrier operations of the two old warriors of the Second World War that we recognize here today, Charles de Gualle, that is the French ship carrier Charles de Gaulle, and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, the American carrier, operating alongside at sunset. I also want to congratulate France on the recent launching, because I am a submariner, of the highly capable Suffren nuclear attack submarine. At the July ceremony, Adm. Prazuck, who I will see this evening just after my presentation here today, aptly noted, “C’est un chasseur; il va assurer; il va Être le cas du cour du Charles de Gaulle, felicitations mes amis. Vive la France. Vive l'amitié Franco-American.”