NEWS | May 27, 2021

U.S. Navy destroyer joins French Carrier Strike Group in the Mediterranean

By U.S. Sixth Fleet Public Affairs

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116) joined French Navy Charles de Gaulle Strike Group (CDG CSG), May 26, 2021 in the Mediterranean in support of joint operations and interoperability training, demonstrating mutual commitment to stability and security throughout the European Region.

Thomas Hudner is providing multi-warfare defense to the strike group while operating under tactical control of the French Navy.

Frequent interoperability training between the two navies has enabled each navy’s ships to operate interchangeably in carrier strike groups.

“Since the beginning of the CLEMENCEAU 21 mission, a U.S. escort ship has taken part in the French carrier strike group on an almost permanent basis,” said French Admiral Marc Aussedat, commander of Charles de Gaulle Carrier Strike Group (CDG CSG) TF473.  “Today, it is the turn of the USS Thomas Hunder, which underscores the high level of cooperation between our two navies. After having been in command of the U.S. Task Force 50, I am honored and pleased to maintain this very high level of interoperability that the participation of the USS Thomas Hudner embodies.”

Thomas Hudner is the second ship this year to operate as part of the CDG CSG in 2021. In March, USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) provided defense capabilities to the strike group in support of NATO Exercise Dynamic Manta.

“USS Thomas Hudner’s operations with the Charles de Gaulle Strike Group is a true manifestation of cooperation,” said Rear Adm. Anthony Carullo, Director of Operations, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa. “We strive to have strong relationships with all our partners and allies similar to the special relationship we have with France. We should recognize this enduring relationship as a competitive edge and unique strength of the NATO Alliance.”

The U.S.-France alliance dates back to 1781, originating with their support during the U.S. revolutionary War. The alliance was further solidified through both World Wars. Today, U.S. Sixth Fleet assets routinely exercise and operate with French and NATO counterparts throughout the region to include participation in Formidable Shield, Baltic Operations (BALTOPS), Sea Breeze, and Obangame Express in the Gulf of Guinea.  Thomas Hudner’s combined operations with the CDG CSG coincidently occur as French and U.S. service members prepare to commemorate the 77th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, in Normandy.

The Charles de Gaulle Carrier Strike Group is made up of French ships multi-mission frigate (FREMM) Provence and Languedoc, air defense frigate (FDA) Chevalier Paul, La Fayette class frigate (FLF) La Fayette and the french carrier air wing; command and refueling vessel (BCR) Var; maritime patrol aircraft Atlantique 2 and U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer Thomas Hudner (DDG 116).

Thomas Hudner is deployed in support national security interests in Europe and increasing theater cooperation and forward naval presence in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations.

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