Vice Adm. Mark Fox, Commander, and Commodore Tim Fraser, Deputy Commander, Combined Maritime Forces, visited French Amphibious Assault Ship FS Mistral (L9013), April 21. Invited by Commanding Officer, Capt. Xavier Moreau, Fox toured the ship and addressed the more than 80 midshipmen currently embarked about leadership, professionalism and current regional issues.


Mistral is serving as a practical application school for French midshipmen, giving them the opportunity to gain valuable hands-on sea-based knowledge.

Fox said, “The opportunity to address the French midshipmen is important. Maritime security is an international concern, and fostering the growth of future leaders of our partner navies is crucial to long-term stability.”

The visit highlighted the excellent working relationship and friendship between the United States and French militaries.

“Being addressed by such a leader is a great chance for them,” said Cmdr. Jerome Grivelet, French senior national representative. “This will allow the cadets to gain a better understanding of the issues in the region. As future officers and leaders, his example and experiences are priceless.”

Before joining CMF Mistral has recently been operating off the coast of Libya aiding the joint United Kingdom-French effort to repatriate Egyptian refugees fleeing the violence there.

France is currently leading Combined Task Force 150, one of three maritime task forces operated by CMF. CTF150 exists to create a lawful and stable maritime environment free from terrorism, smuggling and other illegal activities across an area of two million square miles, covering the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman.

Combined Military Forces is a multi-national naval partnership, which exists to promote security, stability and prosperity across approximately 2.5 million square miles of international waters in the Middle East, which encompass some of the world’s most important shipping lanes. CMF’s main focus areas are defeating terrorism, preventing piracy, encouraging regional cooperation, and promoting a safe maritime environment