September 9, 2020 (Google Translation) – On Wednesday, September 2 in the early hours of the morning, the overseas support and assistance building (BSAOM) Dumont D’Urville approached the port of Marigot in the north-east of Martinique. On this Atlantic coast windswept, a section of the 1 st company of the 33 th Marine Infantry Regiment (RIMA) is preparing to embark.
The BSAOM is a building capable of fulfilling a multitude of missions; including the projection and recovery of personnel and materials to and from land. The crane placed on the bridge of the building, capable of lifting loads of 12 tons, can deploy an amphibious craft to recover or throw up to 15 soldiers, or a light vehicle.
Before the amphibious boat can beach , that is to say land on the beach, a reconnaissance team must intervene to ensure that no obstacle hinders navigation and the approach maneuver. On the Dumont D’Urville , this role is entrusted to two sailors who are certified “ship diver” level 1 . They set off in a zodiac to probe the area and prepare the ground, well in advance of the landing operation.
The amphibious capability of the BSAOM will be employed during a military operation or as part of a relief response after a natural disaster to embark and project soldiers, their weapons and their material. It can also allow the evacuation of nationals. The Dumont d’Urville can therefore provide an effective response to a crisis in the West Indies area, pending the possible arrival of heavier means, such as an amphibious helicopter carrier, whose carrying capacities remain much greater. important, but whose rally time is also longer from the mainland.
The exercise of September 2 allowed the soldiers of the 1st company of the 33rd RIMa to train to embark and disembark with substantial equipment. The sappers of the first company are familiar with this type of exercise since they come from the 23rd amphibious support company and crossing in metropolitan France.
This joint and regular training between the French Navy and the Army is essential in order to obtain a fluid and rapid action when the use of this capacity will be necessary, in particular for the defense and protection of the populations of the French islands. in the West Indies.