TOULON - Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday joined First Sea Lord, United Kingdom Royal Navy Adm. Tony Radakin and Chief of the French Navy Adm. Pierre Vandier in Toulon, France, for a trilateral maritime discussion, June 3.
During the meeting, the three leaders signed a trilateral cooperation agreement reaffirming their commitment to deeper co-operation and interoperability around the globe—in both operations and exercises—to meet the challenges of tomorrow and maintain a strategic advantage at sea.
“Today, we reaffirm our commitment to uphold and advance a rules-based international system together that has underpinned our mutual security and prosperity,” said Gilday. “Through continued engagement and dialogue, we are no doubt strengthening our forces’ collective ability to ensure access to waterways – and the economic prosperity that flows with it. There is much to celebrate in our trilateral relationship; indeed the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
The U.S., French, and United Kingdom navies regularly operate together, including the on-going NATO exercise Steadfast Defender and Mine Countermeasures Exercise in the Arabian Gulf this past April.
“As we look to the horizon, we recognize that common challenges will only continue to increase in scale and complexity,” said Vandier. “Our three naval services must be prepared to respond, together, in conflicts of varying intensity across the globe. Our trilateral training and exercise activities reflect this reality and ensure that we are able to operate together at the highest level.”
The tri-lateral engagement also included a visit by the three heads of Navy to FS Charles de Gaulle and HMS Queen Elizabeth at sea.
“Today’s Trilateral Meeting between the Marine Nationale, the United States Navy and Royal Navy: the three NATO nuclear nations, and three carrier navies in the alliance, highlights our shared commitment to NATO, and our bold steps towards ever greater interoperability and interchangeability,” said Radakin. “The Royal Navy’s CSG21 deployment is a clear demonstration of this: a Royal Navy carrier, which will become the NATO carrier, supported by allied fighter jets, frigates and destroyers, working as one.”
This trilateral meeting built on the three navies’ virtual discussion that occurred last June.
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