(B2) During its passage in the Mediterranean, the French carrier battle group, composed around the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, will lend a hand to the European maritime operation to monitor the embargo around Libya.
Two planes will carry out some surveillance flights: the Atlantique 2 maritime patrol plane — which accompanies the aeromaritime force — and an E-2C Hawkeye aerial surveillance plane — on board the Charles-de-Gaulle (R-91) as part of the mission Clemenceau 22. A FREMM frigate (multi-mission frigate with enhanced air defense capabilities), theAlsace, also provided occasional support to the operation.
This support does not mean the provision of French resources for Operation Irini – with integration of the European chain of command. The ships remain under French command. But they share certain information and can make a 'friendly' visit to a merchant ship, on an ad hoc basis. This is called an associated detachment, which has a triple merit: providing a 'boost' to the European operation; show national solidarity with it; demonstrate the usefulness of the carrier battle group.
It is a tradition of the GAN, the carrier battle group French, to provide this support to various operations during his visit. He did it for Atalanta last year (read: The Charles-de-Gaulle and the carrier battle group in the Gulf of Aden, alongside the 'Atalanta'). He should have done it for Irini on his debut in 2020. But the Covid-19 epidemic had prevented him from doing so (read: Return to port for the Charles-de-Gaulle aircraft carrier, contaminated by the pandemic).