Home Middle East US, French aircraft carriers meet up in Middle East

US, French aircraft carriers meet up in Middle East

US and French aircraft in dual flight operations in Middle East
US Navy F/A-18F and F/A-18E Super Hornets, an E-2C Hawkeye tactical airborne early warning aircraft and French Dassault Rafale fighter jets fly in formation over USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) in the Arabian Sea, April 13. Photo: US Navy

Ships centered around two aircraft carriers from the US and France got together in the Arabian Sea on April 13 for dual-carrier flight operations in the Middle East.

Participating groups included the US Navy’s Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (IKE CSG) and French Navy’s Charles de Gaulle Carrier Strike Group.

“The IKE and Charles de Gaulle share a special place in history – both namesakes worked together to fight for liberty and as leaders of their respective countries both worked to ensure peace and stability,” said Rear Adm. Scott F. Robertson, Commander Carrier Strike Group 2 and US Naval Forces Central Command’s (NAVCENT) Task Group 50.2.

The two ships also have a long history of operating together, including air support to Operation Inherent Resolve from the Mediterranean Sea in 2016, and again in 2020 when they conducted maritime operations in the Red Sea.

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower is underway in the US 5th Fleet after transiting the Suez earlier this month. The carrier actually became the first US Navy ship to transit the canal after it had been closed for several days due to the stranding of containership Ever Given.

Eisenhower started its second deployment in a single year in February 2021.

FS Charles de Gaulle deployed around the same time, getting underway from Toulon on February 21 to start a deployment to the Middle East.

Photo: US Navy

Deploying ships and aircraft of the IKE CSG include flagship USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61), guided-missile destroyers USS Mitscher (DDG 57), USS Laboon (DDG 58), USS Mahan (DDG 72), and USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116) and squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3.

Deploying ships of the Charles de Gaulle Carrier Strike Group include flagship of the Marine Nationale FS Charles de Gaulle (R 91), frigates FS Chevalier Paul (D 621) and FS Provence (D 652) and replenishment tanker FS Var (A 608).