From DEBKAfile, Political Analysis, Espionage, Terrorism, Security
DEBKAfile Exclusive: USS Enterprise Strike Group and French Charles De Gaulle carrier hold their first joint maneuver in Mediterranean
July 26, 2007, 10:00 AM (GMT+02:00)
The USS nuclear carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65), en route for the Persian Gulf, entered the Mediterranean Sea Monday July 23 for joint maneuvers with the French Charles De Gaulle carrier. Rafale M fighters took off from its deck, touched down briefly on Enterprise runways and returned to the parent ship. This is the first time ever that French fighter-bombers have landed on an American carrier and used its facilities.
DEBKAfile’s Middle East and Washington sources say that the closely integrated maneuver is part of the growing cooperation between the Bush administration and the new Nicolas Sarkozy presidency on burning Middle East issues.
The gambit on which Washington and Paris have embarked together takes into account Iran’s elevated standing as a topnotch Middle East power. This partnership and the new horizon opening up are explored in detail in the next DEBKA-Net-Weekly out on Friday.