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News ArticleCS
NEWS | Oct. 9, 2020

U.S. and French Navies Conduct Training in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea

By U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa / U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) conducted combined operations with French Navy La Fayette-class frigate FS La Fayette (F 710) in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, Oct. 8, 2020.

The combined operations in the eastern Mediterranean served as an opportunity for U.S. and French naval forces to refine their interoperability and maneuvering capabilities. Roosevelt and La Fayette conducted link, communications, and tactical decision-making operations while transiting the eastern Mediterranean waters together.

U.S. Navy vessels routinely conduct operations with NATO Allies and partners to enhance collaboration and increase capacity in order to strengthen the regional maritime security.

“These successful operations with our French counterparts highlight the strength of our NATO partnership,” said Cmdr. Ryan Kendall, Roosevelt’s commanding officer. “We are proud to sail in these storied waters alongside our Allies in an effort to reinforce security and prosperity of the region.”

These operations build on centuries of maritime partnership between France and the U.S.

"The ship's name, La Fayette, is a reminder of how long the French and U.S. partnership has lasted in history," said French Navy Capt, Sebastien Martinot, La Fayette's commanding officer. "As navies who share similar complex military capacities such as nuclear submarines, carrier strike groups, and special operations forces, we have been operating closely together for decades, conducting combined maritime and air operations. We learn a lot from this cooperation."

In March 2020, Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (IKECSG) conducted dual-carrier flight operations with French aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle (R91), highlighting the high-level joint operations of the two partners. 

Roosevelt, outfitted with the most recent Advanced Capability Build, integrates its weapons and sensors to include Cooperative Engagement Capability; Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile; Mk 15 Close-In Weapons System Block 1B; and the Mk 41 Vertical Launching System, capable of supporting Standard Missile (SM) 3 and newer variants. These capabilities vastly increase the sea-based BMD force structure and contribute to NATO's robust integrated air and missile defense (IAMD) architecture.

As the first Flight IIA Forward-Deployed Naval Forces-Europe (FDNF-E) destroyer to join U.S. Sixth Fleet, Roosevelt is deployed with two embarked MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopters. The embarked helicopters increase Roosevelt’s surface and anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

Roosevelt, stationed in Rota, Spain, is conducting its first forward-deployed naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national and NATO security interests in Europe and Africa.

Four U.S. Navy destroyers, including Roosevelt are based in Rota, Spain, and assigned to Commander, Task Force 65 in support of NATO’s Integrated Air Missile Defense architecture. These Forward-Deployed Naval Forces-Europe ships have the flexibility to operate throughout the waters of Europe and Africa, from the Cape of Good Hope to the Arctic Circle, demonstrating their mastery of the maritime domain.

U.S. Sixth Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with joint, allied, and interagency partners in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.

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