Six Military Interventions in French Polynesia

August 20, 2019 (Google Translation) – From August 5th to 9th, the Armed Forces in French Polynesia had a particularly busy week. Indeed, they carried out no less than 5 medical evacuations and were also involved in a search mission for a lost hiker.

On August 6, the Dauphin helicopter from the Flotilla 35F detachment was engaged for medical evacuation on Bora Bora Island, 250 km from Tahiti. The mission made it possible to repatriate a person suffering a stroke as soon as possible.

On August 7, a similar mission was launched for the same destination. This time, it was to take care of a person who suffered a traumatism in the spinal cord and whose condition required to be evacuated to Tahiti. On the same day, the Dauphin helicopter was again requested to conduct a medical evacuation on Moorea, the sister island of Tahiti, located 18 km. The mission was to rescue a young woman about to give birth who needed to be rushed to Papeete.

The following day, the ET 82 Maine Transport Squadron was involved in a new medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) on the island of Raiatea (210 km). A woman with signs of premature delivery had to be repatriated urgently. The choice of vector is on the CASA to allow the medical team to board an incubator. After 50 minutes of flight, the patient was taken care of on her arrival on Tahiti by the Papeete ambulance and transferred to the hospital.

On the night of August 8 to 9, 2019, around 3.30 am, the 25F flotilla was asked for the medical evacuation of a pregnant woman on the island of Huahine. Twenty minutes after takeoff, the young woman landed safely in Tahiti where the medical teams were waiting for her.

On August 9, a hiker who went on an excursion to the Fautaua Valley in the north of the island of Tahiti, did not give any sign of life. The alert was immediately triggered and then the Dauphin helicopter was engaged for a ground rescue mission. Between the take-off and the arrival at the research site, the hiker was found and the helicopter was able to return to the military aviation group of Faa’a.

Achieved in less than a week, these six interventions testify to the responsiveness and availability of the FAPF, which, when requested by the Office of the High Commissioner of the Republic are able to provide capabilities and knowledge – to adapt to the most delicate maneuvers, where human lives are very often at stake.

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 assure 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.