The US and French navies teamed up for combined exercise Chesapeake 2018. Central to the exercise was fully integrating a French navy air wing with a US Navy carrier air wing aboard the aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush (CVN 77).
The exercise is partially driven by routine maintenance to France’s only aircraft carrier – the Charles De Gaulle – which requires an 18‑month overhaul every 10 years. French pilots must participate in similar exercises to maintain their flying competency during the overhaul period. The combined forces trained for several scenarios, including search and rescue.
US and French planes flew 458 sorties totalling 724.5 flight hours.