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NORFOLK, Va. – Vice Adm. William Houston, Commander, Submarine Forces, hosted French Navy Vice Adm. Jacques Fayard, Commander, Strategic and Oceanic Submarine Force (ALFOST) along with French staff members, in Norfolk, Virginia, Oct. 11.
Fayard’s stateside visit was in conjunction with the annual bilateral U.S.-French submarine staff talks, Oct. 11-12, which promoted the close cooperation and interoperability between the two Nations’ Submarine Forces.
“Even before the founding of our Nation and especially when times were dark, France supported us,” said Houston. “Not far from here, the monuments at Yorktown memorialize the start of our shared alliance. With that history in mind, it is my great pleasure to host Vice Admiral Fayard and his staff for discussions that will add to the rich partnership we enjoy at sea.”
Houston went on to emphasize the importance of U.S. and French trust and cooperation in the undersea domain.
“In particular, our Nations’ undersea forces have a strong and tested foundation of cooperation in shared missions in every theater of operations around the world, a foundation built on trust,” said Houston.
Fayard also took time to thank Houston and the rest of the Submarine Force Atlantic staff in attendance for their invitation.
“I took command of ALFOST barely a month ago, but this is already the second working engagement Vice Admiral Houston and I have shared,” said Fayard. “This fact alone should point to the priority my Navy places on the relationship between our Submarine Forces. I look forward with great optimism to building on the deep ties forged by our predecessors and enhanced by the strong ties between our staffs.”
Capt. Dan Packer, Submarine Force Atlantic’s Director for Plans, Policy and International Engagement, also spoke on the importance of holding staff talks to learn from each other.
“In our partnership, we realize that each submarine force has specific strengths, and the goal of these talks is to continue the dialogue that allows us to learn from the other’s best qualities,” said Packer. “Joining with each other’s Submarine Forces is critical in overcoming any challenges we face together while also expanding upon the NATO cooperation and interoperability goals.”
During the visit, the French delegation also had the opportunity to meet with Adm. Daryl Caudle, Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, as well as take a tour of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and the Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS New Mexico (SSN 779).
Fayard continued his stateside visit to Commander, Submarine Group TEN in Kings Bay, Georgia.
U.S. Submarine Forces execute the Department of the Navy’s mission in and from the undersea domain. In addition to lending added capacity to naval forces, Submarine Forces, in particular, are expected to leverage those special advantages that come with undersea concealment to permit operational, deterrent and combat effects that the Navy and the Nation could not otherwise achieve.
U.S. Submarine Forces and supporting organizations constitute the primary undersea arm of the Navy. Submarines and their crews remain the tip of the undersea spear.
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