The Seine Enters the Scene
(Source: French Navy; issued July 25, 2019)
(Unofficial translation by
Displacing nearly 3,000 tonnes, the French Navy’s third Metropolitan Support and Assistance Vessel, “Seine,” has been commissioned into the French Navy fleet. These large OPVs are also capable of a variety of naval support missions. (FR Navy photo)
On the 24th of July, Admiral Christophe Prazuck, Chief of the Naval Staff (CEMM), decided to admit the Metropolitan Support and Assistance Vessel (BSAM) “Seine” to active service.

The Admission to active service was held in Balard, in the presence of the President of the Standing Committee on Programs and Trials (CPPE), Vice-Admiral Stéphane Boivin, of the Deputy Chief of Staff the Navy, Rear Admiral François Moreau, Commander Jérôme, BSAM Program Officer, BSAM Seine A Crew Commander A, Lieutenant Commander Philippe Lory, and Senior Master Vincent, representing the crew’s NCOs.

After a presentation of the highlights of the reception and qualification process by Vice-Admiral Stéphane Boivin, the ship’s commander formally requested the Navy Chief of Staff to admit the “Seine” to active service.

During her long deployment cruise that took place from March to June 2019, the crew of BSAM Seine gained perfect control of the vessel, and verified that her military capabilities match the requirements expressed by the French Navy.

After conducting cooperative engagements with the Senegalese navy, the “Seine” met up in the South Atlantic with the "Jeanne d'Arc 2019" task group, comprising the LPD “Tonnerre” and the light frigate “La Fayette,” which she joined before conducting an unusual navigation by steaming 600 nautical miles up the Amazon River. This navigation made it possible to test the ship’s capability to operate in turbid and brackish water, while rediscovering a river that French Navy ships had not visited for several years.

The ‘Seine,’ the third of four Metropolitan Support and Assistance Vessels ordered for the French Navy, reinforces and modernizes the Navy's capabilities. This multi-purpose ship is designed to carry out a wide range of non-combat missions: support to the forces (support and services for submarines, towing major naval ships), safeguarding people and property (search and rescue, protection of the environment ...), and regional support (anchoring and maintenance of moorings, lifting of wrecks ...).

In March, the BSAM Rhône took part in an anti-pollution operation following the sinking of the ship “Grande America”. More recently, the BSAM Loire has provided on-site coordination and logistic movements in the search for the submarine “Minerve,” which was lost at sea on January 27, 1968, and whose wreckage was finally found on July 21, 2019.


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