Since October 25, 2021, a standard 6 Atlantic Maritime Patrol 2 (ATL2) aircraft and its 21F flotilla detachment have operated in the Eastern Mediterranean (MEDOR) from Paphos Air Base on the island of Cyprus. ATL2 ensured the permanent French naval presence for more than two weeks following the departure of the frigate Aconit , which returned to Toulon at the end of October and before the arrival of the frigate Auvergne at the beginning of November.
Deployed on a national mission as part of the quasi-permanent presence of air and sea assets maintained by France in the eastern Mediterranean, this maritime patrol aircraft was tasked with maintaining knowledge of military activities in a strategic area where security issues for the France and Europe are numerous.
In total, in 18 days, the ATL2 detachment carried out 10 flights, including 8 operational missions for a total of 75 flight hours. During his mission, he notably located and reported several dozen military and civilian vessels of interest in the area.
ATL2 and its crew also participated in the multinational exercise NEMESIS, organized by the Rescue Coordination Center of the Republic of Cyprus. In cooperation with Greek, Israeli and Cypriot ships, but also with Italian, British and Cypriot planes and helicopters, the ATL2 had to cover a large area in search of castaways simulated by mannequins for the occasion. ATL2 was responsible for the coordination and safety of all air assets in the area, in particular by guiding the various rescue helicopters, thus demonstrating its know-how and expertise.
This deployment was made possible thanks to the support point offered by the Paphos air base in the Republic of Cyprus, a major partner of France in this area.