NORFOLK, Va (WVEC) – Life aboard the USS George H.W. Bush is coming to an end soon for hundreds of French sailors.
The experience has provided the country’s Navy to train alongside American Sailors while their flagship carrier, the Charles de Gaulle, undergoes repairs.
"This whole operation has been a year in the making," said RDML Stephen Evans, Carrier Strike Group Commander.
"We talk about strengthening our allies and alliances and partnerships," he said. "You have sailors and sailors and sailors working together side by side who are finding out that they have far more in common than they have apart."
"It's been fantastic,” said Captain Jim McCall, Commander of Carrier Air Wing 8. “The French are absolute professionals in the air... the way they conduct their business both from a briefing and debriefing standpoint."
French sailors said it’s a pleasure to be aboard the Bush because it provided a unique opportunity for face-to-face conversation.
"When you can meet those people for real and talk about the flights we did together, that's even better,” said Commander Marc. “Because that's where you can really increase the relationship to real relations between no more 'two Navies', but 'two people' And that's where we learn the most."
The Americans and French also bond over working out an even playing games. The ship has a designated “Fun Boss” and “Fit Boss”.
"I am in awe every day when I walk around this ship and see the young men and women who do our nation's business,” said RDML Evans.
The Chesapeake Deployment for the 350 French sailors comes to end May 27th.
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