PAPEETE, Tahiti -- Independence-class littoral combat ship USS Jackson (LCS 6) Gold crew completed a successful port visit to Papeete, Tahiti, Sept. 24.
While in port, Jackson hosted French Navy Rear Adm. Geoffroy d’Andigné, French joint commander of the Asia-Pacific zone and the armed forces in French Polynesia., and French High Commission staff members for a tour and lunch aboard the ship. U.S. Navy Sailors also provided tours for the French Polynesia Attorney General, judicial representatives, and French Navy Sailors.
“It was a pleasure to host USS Jackson and learn more about the littoral combat ship," said d’Andigné. "US is a long partner of France, we look forward to continuing our collaborative training in the future and to work together for the benefit of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific."
Navy leadership met with with French Polynesia President Édouard Fritch and the French High Commission staff to discuss how the U.S. and French navies can operate together in ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific. Leadership also met with French Armed Forces and French Polynesia staff to discuss bilateral training topics and opportunities to operate together.
“Our visit to Tahiti has been incredible, from the hospitality of the people to the great discussions we had with our French counterparts,” said Capt. Marc Crawford, Commodore, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron ONE. “USS Jackson’s presence in Tahiti is a demonstration of American support to the Indo-Pacific region, particularly French Polynesia, as we work together alongside our regional partners and allies to achieve our common goals.”
The United States is a proud Pacific nation with deep and long lasting ties to the countries of the Pacific, U.S. neighbors, allies, and friends. The United States is committed to a free and open Indo-Pacific, building connections within and beyond the region, driving Indo-Pacific prosperity, and bolstering Indo-Pacific security.
“The relationships we build and the training we do with our partners and allies throughout the Indo-Pacific are invaluable,” said Rear Adm. Wayne Baze, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 3. “USS Jackson’s visits to Fiji and French Polynesia demonstrate not only our dedication to the region but also the unique capabilities of the littoral combat ship as they support the OMSI mission.”
French and U.S. naval forces operate around the globe every day. Most recently, the two countries participated in Rim of the Pacific exercise, working together with a total of 26 nations to foster and sustain relationships critical to the safety of the sea lanes and security of the world’s interconnected oceans.
Also in 2021, senior French and U.S. officials signed a Strategic Interoperability Framework. The framework helps organize how the two navies can build upon mutual capability, and operational goals moving forward. Since the signing, French and U.S. naval staffs have developed long-term bilateral roadmaps focusing on achieving combined sea control, combined power projection, and assured Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) and data sharing.
Jackson is underway supporting Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI), a Secretary of Defense initiative that improves maritime security and maritime domain awareness by enabling U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement personnel to conduct maritime law enforcement operations from U.S. Navy assets to enforce the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission Convention and suppress illicit activities.
LCS are fast, agile, mission-focused platforms designed to operate in near-shore environments, winning against 21st-century coastal threats. LCS are capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control, and deterrence missions around the globe.
Expeditionary Strike Group 3 comprises four amphibious squadrons, 11 amphibious warships, and eight naval support elements including approximately 18,000 active-duty and reserve Sailors and Marines. As Deputy Commander for Amphibious and Littoral Warfare, U.S. 3rd Fleet, Commander, ESG 3 also oversees the 14 littoral combat ships under Littoral Combat Ship Squadron 1 and Mine Countermeasures Group 3. ESG 3 is postured in support of U.S. 3rd Fleet as a globally responsive and scalable naval command element, capable of generating, deploying, and employing naval forces and formations for crisis and contingency response, forward presence, and major combat operations focusing on amphibious operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and defense support of civil authorities, and expeditionary logistics.