French minehunter visits Portsmouth

FS Sagittaire and her forty-nine crew members sailed into Portsmouth Naval Base on Friday morning for a weekend pit stop before continuing with their duties in the North Sea.

Based in Brest, the home of the French navy, the FS Sagittaire is a tripartite class minehunter which was commissioned in 1996.

As a key NATO partner the ship will be taking part in Exercise Joint Warrior over the coming weeks and are looking forward to working with their partners on one of the largest military exercises of its kind in Europe.

Lt Cdr Jean-Bertrand Guyon, Commanding Officer of FS Sagittaire said: “We are here for a short technical port visit in order to refuel after a week of mine hunting off the French coast and just before Joint Warrior.”

“We work quite often with the Royal Navy with the links being strengthened since the Lancaster Treaty.

“We work either with the Joint Expeditionary Force during Mine Hunting Operations or on various NATO exercises.”

Joint Warrior will run from October 1-12, providing NATO allies and partners with an opportunity to improve the tactics and procedures vital in today’s complex battlefield.

Thirty-five naval units from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK and the US will take part in the exercise, supported by 11 rotary wing aircraft.