11 Jun 2021
Britain, US and France commit to greater naval cooperation
First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin joined the U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Gilday and Chief of the French Navy Admiral Pierre Vandier for a trilateral meeting in Toulon.
At the meeting, the leaders of the three navies signed a trilateral cooperation agreement that reaffirmed their commitment to closer cooperation and greater interoperability around the world, in both exercises and operations, “to meet the challenges of tomorrow and maintain a strategic advantage at sea”.
The agreement underlined that the three nations have been allies for over a century, and stated their determination to keep the oceans of the world open and free, despite the new challenges posed by the increasing uncertainty of today’s world.
The Royal Navy, the United States Navy and the Marine Nationale are the three carrier navies in NATO, representing the three nuclear nations in the alliance. They regularly operate together, including in NATO’s ongoing Steadfast Defender exercise and the recent Mine Countermeasures Exercise in the Arabian Gulf.
The Royal Navy’s Carrier Strike Group deployment clearly demonstrates this shared commitment, said Radakin. The Royal Navy carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, which will become the NATO carrier, is supported in the Carrier Strike Group by allied fighter jets, destroyers and frigates, working as one.
During the trilateral meeting, the three naval leaders visited HMS Queen Elizabeth at sea, as well as the French navy’s flagship carrier FS Charles de Gaulle. The meeting built on a virtual discussion between the three leaders that took place last June.