An NH90 Naval Frigate Helicopter from Koksijde Air Force Base has been deployed since 1 February as part of Operation Clemenceau 22, aboard the French air defense frigate Forbin.
That frigate is part of the carrier battle group that is responsible for the protection of the French aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle. The Belgian twin-engined multi-purpose aircraft and its thirteen-person crew is one of three helicopters deployed in support of the Charles De Gaulle mission, which largely continues in the Mediterranean Sea.
Every day, the Belgian NH90 carries out one or two identification and reconnaissance flights to contribute to the protection of the fleet. During those flights, they regularly locate Russian ships that monitor the movements of the French aircraft carrier.
It is the fourth time since 2015 that Belgium participates in a mission of the French carrier group. In addition to our Belgian helicopter, other European partners such as Spain and Greece and NATO partners such as the United States and Canada are also taking part.
This carrier battle group has been deployed in a complex strategic environment, characterized by increasing regional tensions. Due to the situation in Ukraine, Charles de Gaulle’s order has been adjusted in the meantime. The aircraft carrier is currently participating with its air assets in the NATO Enhanced Vigilance Activities mission in the Black Sea region to demonstrate both deterrence and solidarity between the Allies.
The collaboration between the Belgian NH90 and the French frigate also appeared in a comprehensive article on Mer en Marine’s leading website, which informs readers on a daily basis about the sea and the human communities around it.