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NEWS | April 3, 2024

French Navy leadership visits NAVEUR-NAVAF HQ

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

Leadership from the French Navy visited the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa headquarters, to meet with NAVEUR-NAVAF and U.S. 6th Fleet leadership, March 29, 2024.

French Navy Rear Adm. Vincent Grégoire, deputy to the commander in chief for the Mediterranean Sea, and Rear Adm. Jacques Mallard, commander of the French Carrier Strike Group, met with U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Chase Patrick, deputy commander of U.S. 6th Fleet, and Rear Adm. Patrick Hayden, Director of Maritime Headquarters for NAVEUR-NAVAF, to discuss current and future interoperability between the two navies.

“It has been a real pleasure meeting with the leadership here, and discussing the challenges and opportunities both navies while operating in this theater,” said Grégoire. “Meeting like this, operating alongside each other at sea, and continuously training together during exercises and events, is what allows our two forces to ‘Plug and Fight’ together. I am very proud of the trust our allies have in us, and know that we both will continue to demonstrate the strength of our alliance and increase our interoperability in all aspects of naval warfare.”

While in Naples, the French Admirals also met with Rear Adm. Stephen Mack, Director of Maritime Operations for NAVEUR-NAVAF, to see the full scope of U.S. Navy operations in theater. U.S. Sixth Fleet units routinely exercise and operate with their French counterparts in exercises throughout the European region, and Allied units routinely integrate into one another’s CSGs, enhancing interoperability and interchangeability.

“Meeting with our French counterparts, sitting down and learning about each other’s operational challenges and opportunities, is an integral aspect of joint warfighting and enhancing interoperability between our two navies,” said Rear Adm. Patrick. “We see engagements like this pay dividends in the real world – operations like the French Carrier Strike Group integrating with one of our carrier strike groups, or one of our vessels pulling into a French port. Those operations start with trust and understanding built between our two navies, during engagements between our leadership.”

For over 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) has forged strategic relationships with allies and partners, leveraging a foundation of shared values to preserve security and stability.

Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. U.S. 6th Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF, and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.