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12 French Navy Rafale Ms to deploy to NAS Oceana & USS George H.W. Bush

Twelve French Navy (Marine Nationale) Rafale M aircraft are set to leave their Naval Air Base in Landivisiau next Wednesday, April 04, 2018, to join the US Navy Naval Base Oceana, on the East Coast of the United States. The twelve carrier-borne aircraft are participating in the "Chesapeake" deployment.


Twelve French Navy (Marine Nationale) Rafale M aircraft are set to leave their Naval Air Base in Landivisiau next Wednesday, April 04, 2018, to join the US Navy Naval Base Oceana, on the East Coast of the United States. The twelve carrier-borne aircraft are participating in the "Chesapeake" deployment.


12 French Navy Rafale M to deploy to NAS Oceana USS George H.W. BushMEDITERRANEAN SEA (Oct. 25, 2016) A French Rafale figher jet conducts a fly over of USS Ross (DDG 71) as the French aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle (R 91) conducts flight operations.  (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Theron J. Godbold/Released)


From April 3 to May 27, 2018, nearly 350 sailors from aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and its carrier air group (CAG) will be deployed in the United States of America to continue their operational training. This deployment, dubbed "Chesapeake" in reference to the Battle of Chesapeake Bay, aims to maintain the skills of French sailors and as well as maintain the high level of interoperability between the Marine Natioanle and the US Navy.

It will consist of an onshore phase, at Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana, followed by an at-sea phase aboard the aircraft carrier (CVN) USS George H.W. Bush.

The reason for this combined training is because France's sole aircraft carrier, the Charles De Gaulle, is currently in dry dock for a major refit (its mid-life refit or ATM2 in French) since February 2017 and won't be launched until the Summer of 2018 (major refits take 18 months on average).

This "Chasepeake" deployement was first announced back in December 2017 when the U.S Navy Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John Richardson met his French counterpart, Chief of Staff of the French Navy (CEMM) Adm. Christophe Prazuck in Paris.