May 26, 2021 (Google Translation) – From 23 to 24 May, the buildings of the JEANNE D’ARC (JDA) mission, the amphibious helicopter carrier (PHA) Tonnerre and the La Fayette (FLF) Surcouf type frigate , carried out a joint navigation with the frigate Parramatta of the Royal Australian Navy in the South China Sea.
The Tonnerre and Surcouf crews carried out multiple interactions with France’s partner navies during the month of May. From April 16 to 19, the two buildings began with a patrol with HMAS Anzac in the China Sea, transiting to Japan for exercise ARC21 . During this transit, the Surcouf was refueled by the Japanese supply ship Masyu . At the end of ARC21, a multinational exercise involving American, Australian, Japanese and French sea and land forces, the Joan of Arc group met with the American tanker USS Big Horn .
From May 23 to 24, the Joan of Arc crew carried out a new cooperation activity: PHA TONNERRE and FLF SURCOUF patrolled the South China Sea alongside the Australian frigate Parramatta . During this navigation, the three ships trained in various maneuvers which required fine coordination, such as tactical evolutions and crossdecks (crossed aviation maneuvers). On this occasion, the Parramatta’s Seahawk helicopter landed several times on the flight deck of the PHA, training the cadet marshals to assume the function of aviation watch officer in an allied context.
Carrying out this patrol alongside the Australian strategic partner made it possible not only to affirm the joint attachment of France and Australia to the freedom of navigation but even more to demonstrate the high level of cooperation between the French Navy and the Royal Australian Navy .