November 16, 2020 (Google Translation) – On November 10, the frigate La Fayette passed the baton to the frigate Aconit after a deployment of more than 100 days in the eastern Mediterranean.
During this mission, the frigate La Fayette provided France with a means of autonomous assessment of the situation and of military cooperation with its main strategic partners, in the context of the amplification of regional tensions linked to the delimitation of the zones of maritime sovereignty.
After a mission start marked by the explosion of August 4 which devastated the port of Beirut and the maneuvers carried out with the Tonnerre amphibious helicopter carrier (PHA) in support of operation AMITIE , the La Fayette took over the tactical command. of exercise EUNOMIA . The result of the quadripartite initiative, this exercise brought together aircraft and naval units from Greece, the Republic of Cyprus and Italy around France in affirmation of their unwavering commitment to respect for international maritime law in the economic zone. exclusive Cypriot.
Several other cooperations were then carried out by the frigate La Fayette within the framework of multilateral interactions. The NEMESIS search and rescue exercise conducted on October 14 is proof of this. It involved the Greek, Cypriot and British navies in liaison with the Larnaca Sea Coordination Center (JRCC) . An air-sea exercise was also carried out with the Lebanese Armed Forces (FAL) on October 26 off Beirut. Two Lebanese patrol boats and a Lebanese Air Force Super Tucano patrol participated.
During her deployment, the La Fayette contributed to the preservation of the freedom of navigation in international waters. Three Surface Action Group have been successively conducted with the frigate anti-submarine (MDTF) Latouche Treville September 27 with anti-aircraft frigate (FAA) Jean Bart the October 28 and 29 , or with the Frigate air defense (FDA) Forbin from November 8 to 10 in the Eastern Mediterranean.
A real challenge for the crew due to the worsening of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe and the Middle East, this deployment was accompanied by strict health measures: fortnight at home, testing of the entire crew before departure, maintaining a reinforced health posture. To preserve the operational capacity of the building, the free quarters of the crew were therefore enhanced with leisure and cohesion activities during stopovers without leave while maintaining the application of hygiene measures and strict health protocols in the event of interaction with the outside world.
Instrument of cooperation and support of the French posture, the frigate La Fayette will therefore have shed light for more than 3 months on an area trampled by several strategic competitors and subject to strong security challenges.