NATO Carrier Strike Groups (CSGs) Train Together in the Mediterranean
Northwood, UK - French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and British carrier Queen Elizabeth conducted joint training from 1-4 June in an exercise dubbed Gallic Strike, involving 15 ships and 57 aircraft.
Organized by France in its maritime approaches, the naval interaction was an opportunity for the French Carrier Strike Group, which is completing its thirteenth operational deployment to work, for the first time, with the British carrier strike group and its aircraft, strengthening cooperation between the two navies.
Exercise Gallic Strike consisted mainly of training for a dual carrier operation i.e. training between aircraft carriers to coordinate and fight together in an integrated command structure. This sequence, which included a sea-to-land strike simulation and joint tactical maneuvers between Rafale marine and F-35B aircraft, provided an opportunity to work together in a variety of fields, such as anti-aircraft procedures, anti-surface warfare and power projection capabilities.
In itself, this activity constitutes a tremendous demonstration of the burden-sharing at the core of the NATO Alliance that is essential to our ability to generate peace in perpetuity.
Gallic Strike also brought together other Allies who were integrated into the two naval air groups from Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United States. The exercise included the participation of the USS Thomas Hudner, integrated into the French CSG, while the destroyer USS Sullivans and 10 American F35-Bs reinforced the British CSG.