March 12, 2020 (Google Translation) – On March 8, 2020, the amphibious helicopter carrier Mistral and the frigate Guépratte in transit in the Red Sea were at the heart of a complex medical evacuation operation (EVASAN), conducted with the support of French forces in Djibouti (FFDj) and French forces in the United Arab Emirates (FFEAU), for the benefit of a Maltese oil tanker.
Deployed as part of the Jeanne d’Arc mission , the Mistral was contacted in the middle of the afternoon by the commercial building, being then more than 50 nautical miles from the Jeanne d’Arc group to rescue a member of crew in serious condition. Under operational control of ALINDIEN (Admiral commanding the Indian Ocean zone), the PHA was able to quickly assist the Maltese vessel.
In less than 30 minutes, an NH90 helicopter from the Italian detachment on board the PHA was deployed. After joining the tanker in a few minutes, the helicopter hoisted the injured man, who was then taken care of by the on-board medical team, including two doctors and three nurses. Simultaneously, the FFDj were put on alert to be ready to collect the victim at the joint medical and surgical center (CMCIA) on air base 188.
After a first medical examination carried out in the Mistral hospital , the wounded was evacuated by a Puma helicopter from the FFDj, in the presence of a military doctor, to the CMCIA (role 2) for full treatment. In a very short time, more than 150 nautical miles from the Djiboutian coast, the helicopter crew carried out a night hoist.
This intervention illustrates the high operational capacity of the armies and the joint coordination and rapid reaction capacities of the French forces present in this region. This operation also highlights the level of interoperability with an Italian Navy helicopter.
The Jeanne d’Arc mission is a long-term operational deployment, which illustrates the broad spectrum of missions carried out by the Navy in a joint framework with a specific component focused on the training of student officers.
With nearly 650 soldiers deployed, the FFEAU constitutes one of the French advanced operational bases abroad. As commander of the Indian Ocean maritime zone (ALINDIEN), COMFOR FFEAU exercises its authority over a maritime zone extending from the South of the Suez Canal to the West, and to the East up to the Western limits of the waters Burma, Indonesia and Australia.
The 1,450 soldiers of the French forces stationed in Djibouti (FFDj) are established in Djibouti in accordance with the defense cooperation treaty signed in 2011 with this country. The advanced operational base (BOA) which receives them, offers the armed forces, like the BOA of Côte d’Ivoire, various capacities: a real reservoir of forces, it participates in the defense of French interests, in the logistical support of operations on the continent, while contributing to military cooperation actions for the benefit in particular of several African countries.