June 29, 2020 (Google Translation) – On June 24, the Jeanne d’Arc 2020 group conducted a series of sea training courses (PASSEX) in the central Mediterranean with the US Navy Bataan helicopter carrier and the amphibious ship San Giorgio de la Marina Militare.
On this occasion, the Jeanne d’Arc group, consisting of the amphibious helicopter carrier Mistral and the La Fayette Guépratte- type frigate , first conducted tactical evolution exercises alongside the two buildings before implementing its helicopters for crossed aviation maneuvers. This crossdeck exercise enabled the Army Light Aviation Gazelles and the Navy Alouette III on board the Mistral to land several times on the Bataan and the San Gorgio.
At the same time, the Mistral welcomed on its flight deck a V-22 Osprey, a 24-ton convertible aircraft capable of landing vertically thanks to its tilting rotors and an SH-60 Seahawk. The Guépratte, on the other hand, was able to train in Touch and Go (TAG) maneuvers with an imposing SH-101 Merlin from the San Giorgio . “These complex cross-aviation maneuvers, using six aircraft and three ships, demonstrate the high level of interoperability existing with our American and Italian partners,” said Captain Vincent Sébastien, commander of the Jeanne d’Arc amphibious group and PHA Mistral. This new PASSEX carried out as part of the Joan of Arc mission thus contributes to strengthening interoperability and the strong maritime cooperation existing between France, Italy and the United States in the area of strategic interest that is the Mediterranean.