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A Franco-Belgo-German relief en route to Atalanta

Several ships are currently heading towards the Indian Ocean to take over from the European anti-piracy operation EUNAVFOR Atalanta.

On the French side, two new ships are arriving in the theater of operations. L'Aviso Commander Bouan (F-797) is, in fact, already in the area, where it has just completed a “tarpon” exercise (recovery of paratroopers at sea) with marine commandos based in Djibouti. It will be especially affected in the Gulf of Aden.

The frigate Aconit (F-713), of the La Fayette class, will soon join it, assigned to the Indian Ocean. Equipped with a Panther helicopter, 125 meters long, it can reach a speed of 25 knots, served by a crew of 150 sailors.

As to Charles de Gaulle, our masterful aircraft carrier, when its electrical fault is repaired (it had to turn back for “electrical fault), it will in turn head towards the warm seas to participate essentially in the ISAF operation in Afghanistan, offshore of Pakistan in various exercises with Saudi Arabia, India and the United Arab Emirates. But it should also lend its assistance, during the transit, to Operation Atalanta. With the carrier battle group including the anti-submarine frigate Tourville, based in Brest, the air defense frigate Forbin (D-620), the oil tanker Meuse (A-607) and the nuclear attack submarine Amethyst, not counting the Rafale F3, the Super Étendard and the Hawkeye, there will be plenty of people in the international corridor of the Gulf of Aden. Pirates better be up to the task!

Credit: Bundeswehr^^

German side, the frigate Hamburg (F-220) will leave its home port, Wilhelmshaven, on October 19 and will be on site in mid-November. Placed under the command of Commander Frank Schwarzhuber, it will replace the frigate Köln. It is the first frigate of the F124 class (the most recent, and most expensive, program of the German navy) to participate in the operation in the Horn of Africa, specifies the Bundeswehr. Along the way, it will participate in two exercises “Rapid Arrow 2010” and “JADOC” (Joint Air Defense Operations Center) in the Mediterranean. The Hamburg includes a crew of 250 people, two “Sea Lynx” helicopters from the 3rd Marine Air Wing “Graf Zeppelin” and has a team of marine protection forces (MSK) responsible for ensuring the protection of fragile boats (VPD detachment on-board protection).

Finally, on the Belgian side, the Louise-Marie (F-931), which left Zeebrugge on October 4, under the command of Commander Carl Gillis, should be at work on October 20. She completed a stint in Crete where sailors were able to train at the NATO Training Center (NMIOTC) at Souda Naval Base.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).