The Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, will today visit the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle off Toulon as she sails on an operational deployment lasting several months.
The deployment of the naval aviation group (GAN), known as the Clemenceau Mission, will allow it to participate in the aeromaritime operations in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Levant, to increase the knowledge of the transit zones, to reinforce European cooperation and to nourish the strategic partnerships that France maintains in the Near and Middle East, as well as in the Indian Ocean.
After 18 months in a dockyard for major technical refit, especially for the overhaul of its weapon system, over 2,000 women and men will embark on the Charles de Gaulle, which is now able to accommodate 30 Rafale combat aircraft and two Hawkeye airborne early warning and control aircraft.
The GAN also includes an air defense frigate, a multi-mission frigate, a command and supply ship, and a nuclear attack submarine that will be reinforced throughout the mission by ships from many different Allied navies. It will include Portuguese, Danish, British, Italian, Australian and American escort vessels, providing a major opportunity to strengthen their interoperability.
As part of its primary mission to protect the French population, the carrier group will integrate for one month the international coalition against Daesh, within its French component, known as Operation Chammal. It will then enable France to improve its knowledge of the strategic environment and strengthen its partnerships in the Gulf and the Indian Ocean through several exercises with neighboring nations.
Finally, from Toulon to Singapore, where it will dock at the time of the Shangri-La dialogue, the GAN will participate in the international influence of France by affirming its status as a maritime power.
The Armed Forces Minister will speak to the crew of the Charles de Gaulle today at 11am off Toulon, to wish calm sea and following winds to her 2,000 sailors.