February 22, 2020 (Google Translation) – On February 18, 2021, the amphibious helicopter carrier (PHA) Tonnerre and the type frigate La Fayette Surcouf , constituting the Marine Officers Application School Group (GEAOM), set sail from Toulon for the JEANNE D’ARC mission. On board, 147 officers in training at the Naval Academy begin the application campaign that will allow them to learn their trade and prepare for their future duties in a complex operational environment.
During the 5 months of deployment, GEAOM will participate in large-scale exercises with France’s strategic partners in the areas crossed, as well as maritime security operations and presence missions. The PHA and the FLF will deploy in the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea and the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The Naval Academy’s “midships” will thus benefit from a particularly concrete training framework in order to immediately apply what they have been taught theoretically.
Operational deployment, the JEANNE D’ARC mission will be marked by various joint or bilateral actions, such as WAKRI, VARUNA and ARC 21 exercises in Japan or integration into Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 in the Indian Ocean. The amphibious group will also interact with other French buildings, such as the Loire metropolitan support and assistance building (BSAM) . On board the ships, various detachments and units will participate in their fields of action in these activities: an embarked tactical group of the Army, composed of a detachment of the 6 th Light Armored Brigade, a command company 2 e regiment Foreign Infantry (REI), a section of the 13 th Demi-Brigade de Légion Étrangère (DBLE), an armored platoon of the 1 st Regiment of Spahis (1 st RS), two combat sections of the engineers of the 31 e Régiment de Génie (RG), a section of artillery sol-air 54 e Regiment artillery (RA) and a team seal terminal attack controller (JTAC) 3 e Marine Regiment (RAMa) and the 4 th brigade aérocombat 2 Gazelle combat helicopters, a Panther helicopter from the 36F Flotilla and an amphibious flotilla detachment. The diversity of these detachments illustrates the tactical complexity of the environment in which the “midships” will be formed.
Marking the start of this first operational deployment for student officers, the departure ceremony was presided over by Admiral Pierre Vandier, Chief of the Naval Staff, on board the Tonnerre . He was accompanied by Vice-Admiral Laurent Isnard, Commander of the Mediterranean Maritime Zone and District, Vice-Admiral Xavier Baudouard, Commander of the Naval Action Force and Rear Admiral Benoît Baudonnière, Commander of the Naval School. During his speech and his meetings with the “midships”, the CEMM reminded them of the role they will have to play in the career of an officer that awaits them as the strategic context and the importance of the sea change. densify and become more complex. The PHA then set sail, greeted with 19 cannon shots fired by the FLFSurcouf .