French MoD press release – translation by Naval News
Together, the two CSGs contribute to the defense of the Alliance’s eastern flank and to the control of air-sea space in the Mediterranean. At sea, they reinforce NATO’s situational awareness capabilities from the central to the eastern Mediterranean. In the air, they participate in NATO’s Enhanced Vigilance Activities (eVA) in Romanian and Bulgarian airspace.
Sharing information by connecting communication networks and tactical data links, the ability to deploy French and American air assets on both aircraft carriers and in the same areas of operation, and control of maritime airspace in complex operations: all these capabilities underline the interoperability of the two allied navies and the strengthening of their joint combat capabilities.
The airwings also conducted air-to-air interactions of increasing intensity. These various aircraft-to-aircraft trainings mixed aircraft and crews, further enhancing their ability to operate together. French and American landing officers exchanged positions on board the aircraft carriers to enable cross decks of the Rafale Marine, F-18 Super Hornet, French E-2C Hawkeye and American E-2D Advanced Hawkeye. For the first time, an E-2D performed landing presentations on the French aircraft carrier.
The proximity of the two CSGs also enabled the commanders of each CSG, each carriers and each air group to hold joint briefings, to share their assessment of the tactical situation and coordinate their defense and surveillance postures in depth.
This Dual Carrier Operation is a concrete illustration of the work done by both navies to achieve this high level of interoperability, and of the mutual trust between the only two navies in the world operating nuclear-powered CATOBAR aircraft carriers .