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Mediterranean seaMissions Operations

Temporary French support for Operation Irini

(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).


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).