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ATLANTIC OCEAN – Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Lisa Franchetti and Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Eric Smith embarked HMS Prince of Wales (PWLS) and met with Royal Navy First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff Adm. Sir Ben Key to sign an updated strategic charter, Oct. 18.
The charter, known as “Delivering Combined Seapower” or DCS, is a bilateral tri-service strategic approach plan that supports cooperation, collaboration, and integration among U.S. and U.K. maritime services.
First signed in 2014, DCS was introduced to build and sustain interoperability between the U.S. and U.K. fleets.
The updated document includes a shared vision to enable the next level of interoperability the joint force requires, acceleration of U.S.-U.K. interchangeability, and underscores the collective dedication to safeguarding global maritime interests and promoting a rules-based international order.
“‘Delivering’ is the key word here,” said Franchetti. “The U.S. and U.K are providing real, operationally relevant capabilities that are making a difference on the oceans every single day. This document reflects the significant progress we’ve made since the original charter nine years ago and clearly articulates how we will advance and expand our interchangeability and deliver combined seapower going forward.”
Key emphasized the importance of this renewed alliance, "This Charter is testament to the enduring strength of the relationship between our navies and marines. By aligning our strategies and capabilities, we strengthen our ability to deter threats, respond to crises, and promote stability across the world's oceans. This partnership will undoubtedly enhance our collective effectiveness, create opportunities to work ever more closely together, and promote our shared values."
Although the U.S. Marine Corps has participated in U.S.- U.K. DCS Strategic Dialogues, this revision marks the first time the U.S. Marine Corps has been formally incorporated into the charter.
“I’m proud to be in this endeavor with Adm. Franchetti and Adm. Key,” said Smith. “Both countries’ Marines and Sailors have long-enjoyed a unique bond. We need to continue moving toward full interoperability, which includes maximizing our information sharing, training on each other’s platforms, and finding novel ways to integrate at the staff and warfighter level. This charter is a real step forward toward that goal.”
Throughout the days’ events the leaders observed a demonstration of F-35B operations onboard HMS PWLS, and discussed maritime strategies, warfighting concepts, and future force design.
The U.S. and U.K. naval forces regularly operate together around the globe, and Franchetti and Smith last met with Key in September at the 25th International Seapower Symposium in Newport, Rhode Island.