February 19, 2019 (Google Translation) – Last Friday, February 15, the FANAL-19 exercise, organized by the French Navy, was completed to prepare the French Carrier Combat Group “Charles de Gaulle” for its operational deployment, which will start next March. The frigate Christopher Columbus (F-105) participated in the exercise, played an important role.
The exercise counted with the participation of 8 surface units, 1 nuclear submarine and more than thirty military and civil aircraft. The bulk of the contingent was made up of French units, but also units from the US Navy and Italy participated.
During the two weeks that the exercise lasted, the frigate Cristóbal Colón exerted the function of commander of the antiaircraft war, and of OTC of one of the TG of surface. The crew had the opportunity to train with numerous serial exercises of air defense, anti-submarine, electronic warfare and shooting. In addition, the exercise consisted of three independent tactical phases, dedicated to the three main wars, in which numerous interactions were carried out in crisis and war scenarios.
During FANAL-19, a group of French officers embarked on board the Christopher Columbus to liaise with the Combat Group, and exercise functions of control of the aerial part of the exercise (EXCON) and controllers of the aircraft of the enemy force.
These exercises have allowed the “Christopher Columbus” to join the combat group of an aircraft carrier and lead the anti-aircraft defense of the group, one of the missions for which this ship is designed. The two weeks of the exercise have served to significantly increase the training and preparation of the ship to act in crisis and combat situations.
In the last days of the exercise, Christopher Columbus was visited by French Rear Admiral Lebas in command of the Combat Group, to check the proper functioning and operation of the ship and gather impressions on the development and results of FANAL-19.