FS Arago’s PACIFIC AITO Mission Detailed
From January 23 to February 17, the patrol boat Arago contributed to strengthening maritime security off French Polynesia as part of the PACIFIC AITO mission. To do this, the French patrol vessel conducted several fisheries police operations during its patrols in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of French Polynesia, thus asserting France’s sovereignty.
Also, Arago patrolled in the north of the EEZ of French Polynesia and in its approaches as part of PACIFIC AITO, a maritime surveillance mission in the French EEZ. In addition, the sailors carried out fishing police missions on the high seas, to the east and west of the Marquesas archipelago. During its deployment, the patrol boat was supported by a Falcon 200 maritime surveillance aircraft from the 25F flotilla, in coordination with the local maritime information fusion center.
The crew of the Arago visited and checked seven longliners on the high seas. In addition, they also made contact with a dozen other vessels to ensure the legality of their activities. These maritime surveillance missions are also an opportunity for the vessels of the Armed Forces in French Polynesia (FAPF) to contribute to France’s independent assessment of the situation in the region. In this context, the patrol boat sailed north of the Marquesas archipelago, near the islands of Hatutaa, Eiao and Motu One.
In the Tuamotu Archipelago, the crew of the Arago was able to maintain FAPF relations with the population and local authorities of the atolls of Taenga, Nihiru, Taiaro and Katiu.
France, a coastal and sovereign nation of the Pacific, contributes to the strengthening of maritime security in the area. The FAPF carry out a wide spectrum of missions for the benefit of the stability of the region and are committed to protecting the populations in the area, in the event of a health, climate or security crisis. They provide additional resources to State services to ensure the protection of French people and respect for the law of the sea.
The 900 soldiers of the Armed Forces in French Polynesia (FAPF) constitute a predominantly navy prepositioned joint force, which, with the Armed Forces in New Caledonia (FANC), has as its main mission to ensure France’s sovereignty over the ” Asia-Pacific theatre” and to position France as a neighboring nation. Able to be reinforced from time to time by metropolitan elements, it allows France to intervene in the event of a natural disaster, to fight against growing threats such as illegal trafficking, to affirm its attachment to international law and freedom of navigation, and to coordinate regional military cooperation with all the countries bordering the Pacific zone.