Port visits strengthen defense partnerships and capabilities between the United States and their partners and allies. These visits also bolster interpersonal relationships and provide Sailors with a deeper understanding of the countries they work alongside while operating in the region.
The visit to Marseille further strengthens relationships between U.S. and French naval forces. Earlier this deployment, the Truman carrier strike group conducted joint operations with the French carrier Charles de Gaulle (R 91) and deployed an aircraft training detachment to Naval Air Station Landivisiau in northwestern France. The strike group also worked alongside the French Navy during a variety of NATO exercises and activities, including Neptune Strike and Neptune Shield.
During their visit, Truman, CVW 1, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 28, and Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 8 Sailors will participate in community service projects with local children at Training Field Saint Jerome and will meet the Blue Stars, Marseille’s American football team.
“Community relations (COMREL) are important on two different levels,” said Lt. Cmdr. Steven Hervey, Harry S. Truman’s chaplain. “For the Sailors who participate, it is an opportunity to serve others, create a lasting memory thorough a unique experience, and build relationships with Sailors on the ship they might not normally come into contact with. For the Navy, COMRELs are one additional way we demonstrate our commitment to our allies around the globe. We want to partner with them in their work to improve their communities and the lives of the people who live there.”
This port visit also provides Sailors an opportunity to experience the food, history, and culture of France. For many, this helps reinforce international relationships on a more personal level.
“Many of our young Sailors have never had the opportunity to experience the beauty and history of France, which makes them very eager to share in the experiences they have heard and read about,” said Capt. Gavin Duff, commanding officer of Harry S. Truman. “To see some of the most amazing towns throughout Europe is a continuing opportunity that is appreciated by our crew and we are grateful to the French for allowing us to learn more about their country, culture and cuisine.”
Truman is the flagship of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG); additional elements include the nine squadrons of CVW 1, commanded by Capt. Patrick Hourigan; the staff and guided-missile destroyers of DESRON 28 commanded by Capt. Todd Zenner, which include: USS Bainbridge (DDG 96), USS Cole (DDG 67), USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), USS Gravely (DDG 107) and USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109); and the Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG 56), commanded by Capt. Christopher Marvin.
The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe area of operations, employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet to defend U.S., allied and partner interests.
For over 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) has forged strategic relationships with allies and partners, leveraging a foundation of shared values to preserve security and stability.
Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF, and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.
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