French submarine FNS Améthyste arrives at Naval Station Norfolk Thursday


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Another red white and blue flag came into port in Norfolk Thursday.

French submarine FNS Améthyste (S605) arrived at Naval Station Norfolk Thursday afternoon.

“It’s a highly capable force, lethal force, and we are glad that they are on our side,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jeff Vandernengel, the executive officer on the USS John Warner, “They were there at the beginning of the country, and they remain strong allies today.”

While the pleasantries of social events and barbecues are welcomed, the trip harbored a celebratory spirit between the two countries almost 250 years in the making. Part of the visit across the pond is to commemorate the “Battle of the Capes” from the Revolutionary War. The French victory at the “Battle of the Capes” helped push for American independence from Great Britain.

“Because of that victory, the British could not be evacuated, they surrender to a combined U.S. and French force, and we go on to guarantee our independence,” said Vandernengel.

FNS Améthyste was commissioned in 1992 as the fifth in the Rubis class of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines.

The French crew will be hosted by the crew of USS John Warner (SSN 785) in Norfolk, a Virginia-class fast attack submarine commissioned in 2015.

This gesture of goodwill between the two allies shows a commonality between the two naval forces.

“Overall we’re working for the same thing: A safe and secure Atlantic era, and they’re a huge partner in that,” said Vandernengel.

The FNS Améthyste is scheduled for departure on Monday.

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