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U.S. 7th Fleet, Blue Ridge Team Conduct Maneuvering Exercise with French Navy

17 June 2024

From Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan M. Breeden

PHILIPPINE SEA — Sailors assigned to both U.S. 7th Fleet and the 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) conducted a maneuvering exercise with the French Navy Aquitaine-class frigate FS Bretagne (D 655), during Valiant Shield 2024, June 14.

Valiant Shield allows the Indo-Pacific Command Joint Forces the opportunity to integrate forces from all branches of services and with our allies to conduct precise, overwhelming multi-axis, multi-domain effects that demonstrate the strength and versatility of the Joint Force and our commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.

The maneuvering exercise demonstrates partnership capabilities using operational and tactical procedures. These exercises require cooperation, communication, and interoperability between two or more navies affording the opportunity to develop greater trust and understanding.

"Sailing alongside our nation's oldest friend and ally while underway together in the Western Pacific is a testament to our strong and lasting partnership with the French Navy,” said Vice Adm. Fred Kacher, commander, U.S. 7th Fleet.  It was great to see FS Bretagne and USS Blue Ridge operating together and no matter where we are, our allies and partners are with us, demonstrating the power of presence and teamwork in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

The exercise also afforded the opportunity for cross-deck tours. Sailors aboard the Blue Ridge were able to go aboard Bretagne for a tour, as well as host a lunch for Bretagne’s Commanding Officer, Capt. Gwenegan Le Bourhis.

“Nation of the Pacific, France regularly deploys Navy assets in the region. By sending a first-class destroyer last year and this year alongside its allies and partners, France Illustrates its attachment to a free, open and stable Indo-Pacific,” said Bourhis. “This combined maneuvering exercise increases significantly our high-end interoperability and contributes directly to building up mutual knowledge, camaraderie and finally confidence between both our navies.”

Named after the region of Brittany in France, Bretagne is forward deployed to the Indo-Pacific.

U.S. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners to preserve a free and open Indo-Pacific.

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