January 29, 2019 (Google Translation) – On Thursday, January 24, 2019, the Cassard anti-aircraft frigate (AAF), deployed in the Indian Ocean, docked at the Naval Base in Mumbai, India. Symbol of increased cooperation between Paris and New Delhi, this French stopover is the first of a foreign building in this military base.
Left Toulon November 5, the Cassard has been deployed for three months in the Arabian Gulf and Indian Ocean under the operational command of the Commander of the Indian Ocean Zone (ALINDIEN). Before his stopover, the Cassard had assured the escort of US US aircraft carrier John C. Stennis.
This stop is part of a wider framework of consolidation of the Franco-Indian strategic partnership on defense, sealed by the President of the Republic and the Indian Prime Minister during their meeting last March. The two leaders then signed an agreement on logistical support between the armed forces of the two countries whose stopover is the first implementation. “Beyond logistical convenience, access to a military hold offers guarantees in terms of security,” said Captain Ouk, commander of the Cassard. “Moreover, benefiting from this new point of support offers greater projection capacity to French vessels in the Indian Ocean”.
Attached to the preservation of maritime safety in the Indian Ocean but also to the fight against terrorism and piracy, France and India maintain close cooperation in the field of surveillance through regional and international coordination mechanisms . Major actor of the French military presence in this region, the commander of the maritime zone of the Indian Ocean (ALINDIEN) plays a determining role, supplemented by the regular deployment of buildings of the National Navy.
This stop was also the opportunity to host a delegation of officials from the European Union led by General Daniel Grammatico, Director of Operations at the EU Military Staff, and Rear-Admiral Giuseppe Rapeses, Deputy Commander EU NAVFOR Atalante. They underlined France’s constant commitment in Atalante since 2008, welcoming the upcoming deployment of the frigate as an associated support for the operation.
After this historic stopover, the Cassard is preparing to continue his mission in direct support of Task Force 150 and in support of Operation Atalanta.