Auvergne Under Multiple Threats in Exercise TAMOURE
From October 25 to 27, 2022, in the Mediterranean, the multi-mission frigate (FREMM) Auvergne was in advanced training TAMOURE. Organized by the training division of the Naval Action Force, TAMOURE aims to test the capabilities of the building and the resilience of the crew by confronting it with numerous threats, of varying intensity, within the framework of the most realistic as possible, making it possible to go “through the gesture” up to real commitment.
Stopping over in a fictional country plagued by armed militias, Auvergne began this training at the dock, deploying its visiting team to receive VIPs and escort them to the boat. Gradually, the threat around the FREMM intensified: a multitude of small boats harassed it until the commander ordered the departure. However, the attack has not ceased: navigation in confined waters is disrupted by the repeated assault of fast boats – jet-skis and zodiacs – with aggressive behavior towards the frigate. At the combat post, from the central operations to the wings, the sailors – fictitiously – fired to stop the aggressors, when the regulatory warnings were not enough.
“Backup! Backup! Backup! Missile threat to starboard! Missile threat to starboard! The personnel fall back to port »
A few dozen nautical miles away, on the high seas, the frigate was targeted by several aircraft from the enemy force. On six occasions in less than 3 days, Auvergne ‘s defense capabilities against air threats were put to the test. These aircraft, manned breastplates or autonomous targets implemented from the VN Rebel , with a behavior similar to that which enemy aircraft would have, made it possible to bring great realism to training. Three targets were thus – actually – destroyed by the frigate’s artillery.
In order to account for the variety and concomitance of threats, the training division has added to these attacks a simulation of GPS jamming, CYBER attack and various other disturbances representative of the hybrid character of contemporary operations.
Despite the combativeness of all the sailors, a bomb weighing several hundred kilograms hit the frigate on Wednesday morning, causing loss of life and destruction of operational capabilities essential to combat (HMS Coventry -type scenario, May 25, 1982). Simulation work had been carried out beforehand with the assistance of DGA Naval Technique to assess the damage caused by such an impact, so as to make the animation credible. Then began a harsh operation aimed at saving the frigate, by regaining control of the fire and the numerous damage caused by the impact and by replacing the injured or deceased personnel in the positions requiring it. After four hours of relentless fight against the disasters, evacuation of the wounded in the dark, the smoke and under the threat of new attacks, a stable situation having been found, the training division decided to close the first phase of TAMOURE .
“The client is suspected of transporting weapons and drugs for the benefit of the adversary”
At the request of its operational controller, the Auvergne then, between two air attacks, questioned a ship that had entered the embargo control zone and suspected of transporting weapons and drugs for the benefit of the opposing force. Faced with the poor cooperation of this suspicious ship – played by the VN Rebel – a visit operation is ordered. Once ready, the inspection team is sent on board to carry out a flag survey and then a thorough search of the ship on board which a large quantity of drugs had been hidden.
During the night, while the inspection team was still on board, a fire – fictitious – broke out on the Rebel , requiring the dispatch of firefighters from Auvergne to fight against the disaster.
The FREMM, still under asymmetric and aerial threat, picked up its visit team on Thursday morning, the last step before carrying out naval fire support aimed at destroying a coastal battery represented by a target implemented by the Levant site of the Missile Testing DGA. After the grounding of part of the protection brigade and soldiers of the Army in charge of targeting (Liaison and Observation Detachment – DLO), the FREMM positioned itself south of the Levant to destroy to the main artillery this coastal objective.
Once the firing was successful and the end of TAMOURE sounded, the captain shared with the entire crew his satisfaction for “the responsiveness and performance of the crew as well as the state of mind shown by everyone during this advanced training”, ending with a message for the gunners, who were in great demand during the sequence: “Bravo for these results; we will need your talents to meet the challenges that await us in a few weeks in Lorraine ”.
Next mission indeed for the Auvergne crew : switching to the FREMM-DA Lorraine as part of the “castling Lorraine / Auvergne crew”, the latter going back to Brest in the care of the current Breton crew of Lorraine .