US Navy

Navy, French Marine Nationale Sign Strategic Interoperability Framework

US Navy

18 December 2021

Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Operations, Plans and Strategy, Vice Adm. Bill Merz and his French counterpart, Vice-Admiral Christophe Lucas, Marine Nationale, Director of International Engagements, co-hosted a strategic dialogue via video teleconference Dec. 17.

The dialogue culminated in the signing of a Strategic Interoperability Framework between the two navies, adding enhanced structure to an already successful and long-lasting maritime partnership between France and the United States.

"This Framework demonstrates our commitment to high-end warfighting interoperability," said Merz. "As global navies, we regularly work side-by-side to uphold the rules-based international order in every area of operations, and we're excited to build upon that mission."

The leaders discussed leveraging existing lines of effort and relationships, building on "plug-and-fight" approaches and strategies such as France assuming command of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command's Task Force 50 earlier this year.

"The Strategic Interoperability Framework federates energies around concrete objectives to meet the operational challenges our two navies will face together," declared Lucas. "It will reinforce and enhance our navy to navy relationship and the effectiveness of our units at sea."

The Framework helps organize how the two navies can build upon mutual capability, capacity, and operational goals moving forward. Furthermore, the agreement facilitates coordinated, cooperative efforts across echelons and regional commands all over the world.

Routinely operating together, the Navy and Marine Nationale most recently participated in the large-scale French exercise POLARIS 21, which was led by French aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle (R 91) and concluded earlier this month. The exercise, a multilateral, cross-domain operation involving 6,000 personnel, 65 aircraft and more than 20 ships from across NATO alliance, combined high-end warfighting tactics with communications and maneuvering exercises.

The Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Operations, Plans and Strategy (N3/N5) is the principal advisor to the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) on Navy strategies, plans, and policies, including planning and coordinating the global employment of naval forces.

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