March 20, 2019 (Google Translation) – Since 25 January, the ” Prairial ” surveillance frigate of the Armed Forces in French Polynesia has left the naval base of Papeete, its home port in Tahiti for an operational deployment of more than two months.
Thanks to her ” Alouette III “, as well as to the ” Prairial ” boats , the frigate first carried out reconnaissance missions around the isolated Vanavana atoll.
The objective of such reconnaissance missions is to collect and update information on land and sea land access and to update the mapping of areas that could be logistical support points in case of intervention.
After passing through Easter Island, the crew made an 8-day transit in Chile, in the port of Valparaiso . With the Chilean vessel ” Commander Toro “, the ” Prairial “Did a training on a scenario of fight against narcotrafic. During this simulation, the French frigate had to make a discreet approach to the Chilean ship, playing the role of trafficker before simultaneously sending her boats and helicopters on board. This type of exercise aims to strengthen the joint response capability of both navies, improving their interoperability. The fight against trafficking and more particularly the maritime narcotraffic, is indeed a security issue shared by Chile and France which also maintains a closer cooperation in the field of the preservation of fisheries resources and crisis management during natural disasters. .
The Prairial then traveled to Callao in Peru before joining the Martillo area of operation where the crew must participate in the fight against drug trafficking.
The 900 soldiers of the armed forces of French Polynesia constitute a pre-positioned joint maritime organization which, with the Armed Forces in New Caledonia (FANC), has for main mission to ensure the sovereignty of France on the “Pacific theater”. It allows France to be able to ensure its sovereignty, including in its remote territories, to intervene in case of natural disaster but also to fight against growing threats such as illegal trafficking and to animate regional military cooperation with all countries bordering the Pacific area.