May 25, 2021 (Google Translation) – On Monday April 26, 2021, the polar patrol vessel L’Astrolabe, reinforced by the sailors of its additional sovereignty (additional crew), left its base port of Réunion for a maritime surveillance and fisheries police mission around the Scattered Islands and Mayotte, working area of Kerguélen Islands or Terre Adélie.
Initially, L’Astrolabe patrolled around the Europa Islands, Bassas da India and then Juan de Nova, actively working to monitor French Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) in coordination with the National Fisheries Monitoring Center (CNSP) of Regional Operational Center for Surveillance and Rescue (CROSS) Etel and CROSS La Réunion.
The transit phases in the Mozambique Channel were also used to train the crew in all areas, from security, to firefighting to exercises against illegal actions. The additional sovereignty thus carried out a complete visit operation for operational preparation purposes, in particular in anticipation of a control operation at sea.
The Astrolabe then carried out the delivery to Antsiranana of a vehicle and humanitarian cargo, offered by the Detachment of the Foreign Legion in Mayotte (DLEM) to the Malagasy Armed Forces, as part of the defense cooperation between the Armed Forces of the southern Indian Ocean area (FAZSOI) and the latter. The freight was received by Brigadier General Montrouge, commander of the northern defense zone of Madagascar.
Finally, after a last hook by the Glorieuses and Tromelin EEZs, the vessel returned to Reunion Island to carry out an aeronautical test campaign carried out by the Center for practical experiments in naval aeronautics (CEPA) with a Squirrel-type helicopter from the aerial section of the Réunion Gendarmerie stationed on the Air Detachment 181 “Lieutenant Roland Garros” and a Squirrel from the Hélilagon company. The objective of this several-day campaign was to extend the flight range of the helicopters deployed from the platform in order to allow the supply and relief of Tromelin by helicopter from L’Astrolabe.
After enjoying the spectacle offered by the lava flows in the south of the island, the thirty-two sailors of L’Astrolabe and its complement of sovereignty finally reached their base port on Friday May 14, 2021, after three weeks of particularly mild seas for the season and varied in terms of activity. The latter are thus prepared to begin their annual training course to confirm the operational aptitude of the building, called Operational Leveling (RANO).