CLEMENCEAU 21: The results of an operational mission

June 8, 2021 (Google Translation) – Departing on February 21, 2021, the Carrier Strike Group (GAN) returned to the port of Toulon on Friday June 4 after nearly four months of deployment on a CLEMENCEAU 21 mission. The latter led the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and its escort of the Mediterranean Sea to the Gulf, in particular to integrate the CHAMMAL operation in the fight against Daesh. It also allowed the French Navy to exercise with its allies and partners, thus strengthening its ability to act jointly. A look back at this operational mission articulated around four major objectives.


During CLEMENCEAU 21, the GAN flew around 27,000 nautical miles, leading the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle , its escort made up of the Multi-mission Frigate (FREMM) Provence , the Air Defense Frigate (FDA) Chevalier Paul , of the Command and Supply Building (BCR) Varand a nuclear attack submarine and its Embedded Air Group (GAé), from the Mediterranean Sea to the Arab-Persian Gulf. The GAN helped defend the interests of France and ensured its freedom of action. The GAN has thus crossed several strategic areas such as the Indian Ocean, a maritime area of ​​which France is the only European nation bordering, the Red Sea through which passes 10% of world maritime trade, the Gulf of Aden, faced with the problem of piracy, or the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, a meeting place for the tectonic plates of global geopolitics.


Primary operational objective of the CLEMENCEAU 21 mission: take part in Operation CHAMMAL, the French component of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE (OIR) to fight Islamist terrorism in the Levant. Between the Arab-Persian Gulf and the Eastern Mediterranean, the GAN thus spent fifty days within the coalition, carrying out over the Iraqi-Syrian theater no less than one hundred and forty-two flights of GAé aircraft aboard the Charles de Gaulle . The GAN has for the first time projected its aircraft from the Red Sea, thus opening an intervention route towards the Iraqi-Syrian theater. Thanks to the intelligence gathering, to which the aircraft deployed from the aircraft carrier contributed, the GAN contributed to striking Daesh capabilities.


A component of the American naval forces deployed in the Gulf region, Task Force (TF) 50 was commanded for the second time in its history by the French GAN (the first time in 2015), illustrating the great confidence uniting our two navies. . The unprecedented command perimeter which was granted to it for five weeks, allowed the GAN to integrate, within the TF50, an American GAN (USS Eisenhower ) under French command. These high-level interoperability maneuvers increase the capacities of the two GANs to fight together against all threats and in particular from the Gulf against Daesh.


Aggregator of allied assets, the GAN has integrated within its escort the buildings of many partner navies: six destroyers and cruisers of the US Navy (USS Thomas Hudner, Donald Cook, Laboon, Mahan, Port Royal, Monterey) , the frigate of the Belgian navy Léopold 1 st , two frigates of the Hellenic navy Kanaris and Salamisor an Indian, Moroccan and Italian frigate. To these integrations, proving the high level of interoperability existing between the French Navy and its allies, are added the various interactions organized with partner countries in order to develop common working methods. In total, the GAN has conducted no less than forty-nine interactions with the navies of twenty-three nations. CLEMENCEAU 21 was thus marked by the GASWEX exercise organized with the United States and Japan. Likewise, the bilateral exercise VARUNA 21 was also organized with the Indian navy then RAMSES 21 with Egypt, and two Dual carrier operations (DCO) – maneuver with two aircraft carriers, with the American GAN Eisenhower but also with the new British GAN formed around theHMS Queen Elizabeth .


Expressing his assessment of the hundred and one days at sea, Rear Admiral Aussedat affirmed “I am proud of the operational record of the CLEMENCEAU 21 mission. This mission, very different from the previous ones by the health complexity in which we have evolved. , could not have been carried out successfully without the energy of each of the crews that make up the GAN and without their determination, resilience and endurance. This record, hailed by the highest French and American authorities, is the fruit of the unwavering commitment to serving the nation, the professionalism and rigor of each sailor. “.

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