OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. , –
Marine Nationale (French Navy) Vice Adm. Louis-Michel Guillaume, commander of submarine and strategic oceanic forces for France’s Armed Forces Ministry, visited U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) headquarters, March 11-12.
While here, Guillaume met with U.S. Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of USSTRATCOM, other senior leaders and subject matter experts. He said the conversations were “absolutely fruitful” and focused on the continuing need for strategic deterrence.
“France and the U.S. have been allies for a very long time and we have a lot of things to share and discuss,” said Guillaume. “The world is very complex and changing rapidly, so it’s important to share [ideas] on these very important issues. France and the U.S. must [have discussions like this] to know each other better and see where we agree and disagree. It’s part of the way we can effectively defend our countries and our people.”
Hyten echoed Guillaume’s sentiment, adding that 21st century strategic deterrence requires the United States to continually strengthen cooperation with France and other allies in all areas.
“Hosting leaders like Vice Adm. Guillaume offers the opportunity to enhance collaboration and explore further integration of our capabilities toward mutual defense,” said Hyten. “Our discussions here reinforced to me that we are ready to deter and respond to threats anywhere, anytime across the globe. These engagements are key in that endeavor.”
Guillaume pointed to the recent U.S. Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) and National Defense Strategy (NDS), as well as France’s development of a new generation of ballistic missile submarines, as ways to see how both nations “understand the world, whether it’s evolving the same way or not.”
“We are not doing the same job, there are things that make our jobs different,” said Guillaume. “But we have the same goal, which is to prevent an attack by using our nuclear forces. The U.S. has done a tremendous job with the NPR and NDS, and since we also had a presidential election in France, we have to be sure we continue to share and continue our assessment of the world and the threat of our competitors.”
He went on to highlight the significance of nuclear powers treating each other as equals, citing his discussion with Hyten as an example.
“On nuclear issues, the difference is not between big and small, it is, ‘are you nuke, or aren’t you?’ We are two people involved in the nuclear mission and the deterrence mission, and somewhere that makes us equals in discussions,” he said. “I’ve been very pleased. This visit has been very exciting and very interesting … it was frank. Being able to meet regularly, you get to know people better and it helps to have a positive discussion.”
U.S. Strategic Command has global responsibilities assigned through the Unified Command Plan that include strategic deterrence, nuclear operations, space operations, cyberspace operations, joint electromagnetic spectrum operations, global strike, missile defense, and analysis and targeting.
For more information, contact the USSTRATCOM Public Affairs Office at 402-294-4130 or USSTRATCOMPA@mail.mil or visit www.stratcom.mil.