June 1, 2021 (Google Translation) – On May 22, after another week of patrol in the Black Sea, the High Seas Patroller (PHM) Commander (CDT) Birot docked in the port of Varna in Bulgaria for an operational break of a few days.
This stopover was the opportunity to welcome on board Her Excellency Madame Florence Robine, Ambassador of France to Bulgaria, for a tour of the building and a lunch on board. This period at the dock also allowed the divers from CDT Birot to participate in two joint dives with their Bulgarian counterparts. The teams, made up of divers from both navies, were able to inspect the bottom under the PHM and check the condition of the hull and propellers. In view of the good culture of mine warfare and the developed interest of Bulgaria in the field of underwater work, the exchange with Bulgarian divers was very rich.
On Wednesday May 26, PHM Commandant Birot set sail for the last part of his patrol in the Black Sea. Before heading for its area of operations and the Bosphorus Strait, the Birot participated in a series of exercises with the Bulgarian minehunter Tsibar. The good contacts maintained with the staff of the Bulgarian unit for several days made it possible to develop a clear training program and to share good practices. As such, the two units conducted an exercise in “floating” procedure in its entirety. Thus, the two units communicated only through the pavilions. The latter thus observed good discretion by freeing themselves from the use of radio links.
The Bulgarian and French navies have maintained good relations 1 materialized during interactions for more than a century .
Since May 11, the high seas patrol vessel Commander Birot has been patrolling the Black Sea, thus enabling France to have an independent assessment of the situation in the area and to help assert the freedom of navigation there, while respecting the law of the sea and in particular international treaties which govern access to and the activity of military vessels. Le Birot also takes advantage of the opportunities for exchanges with the navies bordering the area such as Bulgaria here, or during an exercise with the Romanian navy off Constanta on May 18.