French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and Minister for the Armed Forces Florence Parly will board the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle on January 22 and 23, 2020, as she sails on an operational deployment.
As announced by the President of the Republic during his New Year’s message to the armed forces, the French Navy’s carrier strike group will be deployed in the eastern Mediterranean for a month from the end of January, where it will reinforce France’s participation in the fight against terrorism as part of Operation Chammal, the French component of the international coalition against Daesh.
The Carrier Strike Group will then continue its mission in the Atlantic and the North Sea, and will take part in several multinational exercises.
The vessels making up the Carrier Strike Group left Toulon on Tuesday, January 21, on a mission that France calls Operation Foch. This three-month deployment will lead their crews from the eastern Mediterranean to support the French forces deployed on Operation Chammal, and then to the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea, where its activities will mainly be geared towards cooperation exercises with our American and European allies.
This deployment meets four major objectives:
-- operational deployment in areas of strategic interest for the benefit of European security and the stability of its approaches;
-- maintaining the operational commitment of France and the French Navy in the fight against terrorism by contributing to the International Coalition against Daesh;
-- maintaining the very high level of interoperability with our European and NATO partners;
-- maintaining the quality of the relations which bind France and its international partners.
The French Carrier Strike Group
Departing from Toulon, the carrier strike group consists of the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle with its aerial component; the multi-mission frigate (FREMM) Auvergne, the air-defense frigate (FDA) Chevalier Paul, the command and support ship (BCR) Var, the Greek frigate HS Spetsai and a nuclear attack submarine.
Throughout the deployment, various French * and foreign vessels (Spanish, Portuguese, Belgian, Dutch and German) as well as an Atlantic 2 maritime patrol aircraft will integrate or have interactions, with the carrier strike group.
The carrier’s aerial component includes 18 Rafale Marine combat aircraft, two E-2C Hawkeye airborne early warning aircraft, an NH90 Cayman naval helicopter and two Dauphin Pedro search and rescue helicopters.
* the BCR Somme, the BCR Marne, the FREMM Brittany, the FREMM Normandy, the light stealth frigate (FLF) Surcouf, the anti-submarine frigate (FASM) La Motte-Picquet.