An enduring maritime ritual took on new significance in Atlantic waters Wednesday, as an American ship saluted a warship of their oldest ally.
The crew of the U.S. destroyer Carney stood at attention on their ship’s port side and saluted the French frigate Jean de Vienne, rendering honors as the two ships passed in on a gray day as the French Tricolour flapped on the destroyer's yardarm in a show of solidarity.
Only five days earlier, only five days after the aterrorists unleashed a murderous rampage that killed 130 in Paris and brought renewed significance to the U.S.-France alliance, which is responding with blistering airstrikes on the so-called Islamic State militants, who have claimed responsibility for the carnage.
"Friends always, allies forever, in defense of liberty," the Carney's crew radioed as the two ships passed off the northern coast of Spain, according to U.S. European Command.
Rendering honors between U.S. and foreign warships is common when the ships pass within a quarter mile of each other. The Carney is on a 6th Fleet patrol and is one of the four destroyers forward-based in Rota, Spain, as part of the Obama administration's missile defense network.
Strikes on ISIS fighters and infrastructure are mounting. Marine aviators flew off the amphibious assault ship Kearsarge in the Persian Gulf on Thursday and hammered ISIS targets in Iraq. Meanwhile, the Truman Carrier Strike Group is sailing for 6th Fleet from Norfolk and will soon launch its F/A-18 Hornets against terrorist targets.
Carney sailors saluted the French frigate in the north Atlantic on Wednesday, as the French flag flew on the yardarm.
Photo Credit: Lt. j.g. Jessica Bronson/Navy