February 11, 2019 – On 18 January, Major General Thierry Marchand, Commander (COMSUP) of the Armed Forces in New Caledonia (FANC), presided over a ceremony aboard the Vendémiaire surveillance frigate (FS) . During this event, he congratulated the crew members for their action during Operation UATIO 10.
This mission was conducted in December 2017, with the aim of intercepting two Vietnamese “blue boats” fishing illegally in French territorial waters. The Vendémiaire was then the heart of the intervention system, which also included a Gardian aircraft of the Flotilla 25F and the surveillance star Dumbéa of the Maritime Gendarmerie. After several hours of pursuit and encirclement under harsh sailing conditions, nine tons of fish products had finally been seized; the Vietnamese fishermen had been handed over to the French judicial authorities on their return to Nouméa.
In front of the sailors’ families, the general praised “the coolness and professionalism” of the crew throughout the operation. During the ceremony, five sailors were especially singled out for their action by individual congratulatory letters personally handed out by COMSUP.
The surveillance and protection of the French Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) around New Caledonia is one of the main missions of the Vendémiaire surveillance frigate . It also regularly implements training to prepare for this type of action on the high seas. The building has, for these purposes, an Alouette III helicopter and a visiting team capable of apprehend any suspicious ship.