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The Royals surround Corsica

(credit: French Navy)

(BRUSSELS2) Entitled “Corsican Lion”, the military exercise which begins tomorrow (October 17) will feature the French and British Navies to carry out a joint “force and power projection” operation. The Royal Navy expeditionary force will find the “Royal” ships off the coast of the Isle of Beauty.

Big ways

On the French side, we find the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaule and the BPC (projection and command building) Mistral, three frigates including the Chevalier Paul and the Jean de Vienne, as well as the tanker-supply ship Meuse, and a submarine nuclear attack. On the Royal Navy side, it is the TCD (landing craft transport) HMS Bulwark, flagship, accompanied by the helicopter carrier HMS Illustrious, the auxiliary ship RFA Mounts Bay, the frigates HMS Montrose (F-236) and HMS Northumberland (F-238) as well as the ro-ro Hartland Point, a civilian ship chartered by the British Ministry of Defense for the transport of military equipment. In all, several thousand men will be there.

It will also be necessary to count on the ground forces involved, around 360 men – 300 porpoises of the 9e BIMA (from 2nd RIMA, 6th Engineer Regiment and 11th RAMA) and 60 British Royal Marines (from 45e commando group, 29e Royal Artillery commandos…). Finally, 21 aircraft will also be there to support the operation from the air.

Operation in the logical continuation of Franco-British cooperation

In addition to the importance of joint training in order to develop command procedures and optimize dialogue, the aim of the exercise is mainly to carry out an amphibious operation supported by the means of the naval air group. The French carrier group CTG 473 will integrate one of the British frigates while, on the other side, the royal group CTG 323.01 will integrate the BPC Mistral. For this we rely on the port of the Etang de Diane, to the east of the island and on the combat village of Frasseli to the south. This is not the first time that such an integration has been organized. But this goes back several years, the last time was in the Balkans for the application of the embargo against the former Yugoslavia. The exercise which will last here until the 26th of this month contributes to the establishment of the future joint expeditionary force – or Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF) in English. This non-permanent force must in the future be capable of being projected for a joint operation. Military cooperation between Paris and London is one of the strong points of the Lancaster House bilateral defense agreements signed in 2010. Other exercises of this type are planned for 2013 and 2014 and should increase the complexity of operations, such as said a DICOD officer.

It should be noted that most of the French aircraft were already there since they have just returned from a military exercise in the Mediterranean, joint with Italy this time. Batise Get the Funds!, the exercise was 'un success to repeataccording to Rear Admiral Jean-Baptiste Dupuis, commander of the carrier battle group.

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