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A British helicopter engaged in Operation Atalanta on Surcouf (updated)

The Royal Navy's Lynx lands on the frigate Surcouf alongside the Toulon naval base (credit: Marine Francaise)

(BRUSSELS2) Surcouf could turn in his grave...A Lynx Mk8 helicopter from the 217th squadron of the Royal Navy and 12 British soldiers (the crew, 8 members of the technical team and 2 marine commandos to serve the weapons of port) took up residence on the French frigate which bears the name of the Malouin corsair. They will be engaged alongside their French colleagues in the European anti-piracy operation Eunavfor Atatalanta, under the command of Commander Hughes Laine. It's a " contribution to engaging British and French forces to work more closely together we specify in London within the framework of the Lancaster agreements.

This is the first time to my knowledge that a British crew has been integrated into a French crew not as part of the exercise but in operation. “ It's fantastic to have this opportunity to participate in an operational deployment with the French Navy. says Commander Lieutenant (Commander) Mike Curd. " And my entire team is enthusiastic not only to contribute to anti-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean, but also to do so in unusual circumstances.".

It is also a return to Operation Atalanta where the British – apart from Northwood headquarters – have not participated much since its establishment four years ago. 4 weeks of joint training began in Toulon at the beginning of November, including operations qualification training, before a departure for the Suez Canal and the Indian Ocean. On board, we will speak French. To integrate well and prepare for all situations, our British friends returned to school and followed courses in the language of Molière for 15 weeks. The frigate will be deployed from November to March 2013 in the Indian Ocean. And the British helicopter will be the only helicopter on board. Welcome…

At the General Staff of the Armed Forces, we do not exclude a “ reciprocity” in the future with the British. But we are waiting for feedback.

Cordial agreement between Mike Curd, the head of the British detachment aboard the Surcouf, with his "lander"

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).

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