The visit to the oldest friend and ally (maj2)
(B2) By setting foot on the Charles de Gaulle, the US Secretary of State for Defense wanted to pay tribute to the "oldest friend and ally" that the United States has had. " France is – perhaps some of you don't know – America's oldest ally. The oldest friend and ally » said Ash Carter.
The Charles de la Gaulle at the head of the TF 50
Rear Admiral René-Jean Crignola, Commander of the Naval Air Group, has indeed taken over as Commander of Task Force 50, the naval component of the coalition against Daesh (1). This is the first time that the function of commander of the TF50 has been exercised by a non-American. Usually, it is ensured by an American admiral. What we are not a little proud of at the French level, which thus steals the place of first ally from the British to whom this role is usually devolved (2). The commander of the TF50 also works in close collaboration with USNAVCENT, the American regional naval headquarters of the coalition against Daesh.
Proud of the work of the Frenchies!
« We are proud that you command Task Force 50” echoed Ash Carter. The Naval Air Group (GAN), formed around the Charles de Gaulle, indeed ensures the permanence of the presence of the allies in the Gulf, thus relaying the American ships which have a "air pocket". On the French side, the GAN brings together - on the French side - the Embedded Air Group (GAé), the air defense frigate Chevalier Paul anti-submarine frigate La Motte-Picquet, the command and supply building (BCR) Marne — and at least three European ships: the Belgian frigate Leopold I, of the German frigate Augsburg and the British air defense frigate Hms defender. The Charles de Gaulle is home to a multinational staff, including a few Americans whom Ash Carter wanted to personally greet. " Americans, French and others, we are one family in this fight”.
Defeat an evil force
Daesh/Isil” is an evil force (3) that will be defeated, must be defeated...quickly — declared the US Secretary of State. These are President Obama's instructions. And I know that these are also the instructions of President Hollande: to accelerate the defeat of Daesh. "And to add: the" France is not alone in contributing to efforts to defeat ISIL. (But) the presence of 'De Gaulle' here in the Persian Gulf means that the nation is on a wider mission for the security of the region. It reminds us that France (has) a worldwide reputation as a force for civilisation. It is (up to) the civilized world to defend itself and what we represent. »
Since December 9, French crews have carried out 54 sorties over areas controlled by Daesh: 45 bombardments in support of Iraqi troops on the ground (Close Air Support) or on a planned target, 4 intelligence gathering flights and 5 sorties of supplies, according to a final assessment of the staff of the armies, presented on December 17. A total of 12 strikes destroyed 22 targets held by Daesh. On December 15, 2015, Air Force Mirage 2000s and Rafales hit a planned (deliberate) target in the Al Qaim area. Command buildings, training buildings and logistics depots were destroyed ". SCALP cruise missiles were used for the first time since the launch of Operation Chammal during this raid.
In pictures, the visit of the US Secretary of State for Defense
(1) A command taken when the ship passed through the Red Sea on December 7, after crossing the Suez Canal to reach the Arabian-Persian Gulf, the GAP, as the sailors say, full of initials, after MEDOR (the Eastern Mediterranean), it sounds…
(2) Not quite, however, as an attentive reader pointed out to me, Ash Carter spoke of an “old” ally. No “first ally”. So be careful not to take your wishes for realities…
(3) A very messianic language in a way, which has been a permanent feature of American discourse for a long time, and which always insists on recalling the fight for civilization and against the devil.
(Updated) details on the composition of the GAN and the role of the TF50, and last strike report + video