NORFOLK, Va. - When an aircraft moving at 150 miles per hour comes in to land on a moving aircraft carrier runway, everyone from those on the flight deck to those in the bridge need to be on the same page.
Aboard USS George H.W. Bush, this task has become even more challenging since hundreds of people currently on board aren't English-born speakers. It's just one of the obstacles the French Navy and the American Navy are working to overcome during a multi-week training out at sea. However, neither country sees their differences as setbacks.
"We probably don't have the same sophisticated food that they are used to, but it gets the job done," joked Lt. Brandon Rodgers. "They have been great to fly with and very professional. It's been interesting to see the differences in how they run their squadron [vs] how we run our squadron."
Many American sailors say they have been able to find strength in the differences.
"It's a lot more fun because we get to work in a joint environment and get to see what they are capable of doing and what we are capable of doing from a training perspective and what they bring to combat," explained Lt. Rodgers.
Differences lead to a powerful mutual understanding and respect between the two Navys, and Sailors say it only strengthens our alliance.
"We are brothers in arms," said Commander Marc with the French Navy. "When you can meet those people for real and talk about the flights you do together, it is even better. We can really increase the relationship and build a real relationship not just between two Navys but two peoples, and that is where we learn the most."