The French carrier Charles de Gaulle (R91) will re-deploy later this year to continue strikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, French President Francois Hollande said on Wednesday.
“The battle group, which includes the Charles de Gaulle, will again be deployed to Operation Chammal… because we have to strike back at those who attacked us here in January and November 2015,” Hollande said in a speech in commemoration of Bastille Day, according to Reuters.
The deployment would be the third for the carrier as part of the French Operation Chammal, which began in September 2014.
In its last deployment, the 35,000-ton de Gaulle began airstrikes against ISIS targets in Syria on November 23 from the Eastern Mediterranean and continued until March. The carrier was the primary naval strike platform for coalition forces during a two and a half month lull in U.S. carrier operations.
In December, de Gaulle became the flagship of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Task Force 50 that leads the Operation Inherent Resolve naval strike forces – the first for a non-U.S. ship.
“To achieve that level of interoperability, true integration, to the point where Charles de Gaulle Strike Group could take command of Task Force 50 – the first time ever that a non-U.S. element has taken command of a task force – is just so indicative of the partnership we share, and the ability to perform at the very highest levels of warfare, and that’s exactly what you did,” Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said last month during a presentation of a Meritorious Unit Commendation to the de Gaulle battle group.
During the period, “the strike group executed 271 combat sorties, including 259 precision strikes that significantly degraded ISIL operations in Iraq,” read the citation.
The carrier’s first deployment as part of the collation ISIS strikes came only a few weeks after the deadly attacks in Paris on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in early 2015.