March 10, 2021 (Google Translation) – Leaving the Caribbean Sea for a few days to make a stopover in Panama City from February 27 to March 2, the Overseas Support and Assistance Building (BSAOM) Dumont d’Urville twice crossed the Panama Canal on February 26 and March 2. This passage of more than 80 kilometers, crossed in 9 hours, had not been taken by a French building stationed in the West Indies since 1999.
It had been more than 10 years since a French combat vessel had called in Panama. The Dumont d’Urville was received at Port Rodman by the Commander of the Panamanian National Air Naval Service Naval Group Luis Rodríguez, as well as by the French Defense Attaché in Panama, Lieutenant-Colonel Jean-Christophe Berger.
On this occasion, several meetings with Panamanian authorities were held, thus helping to strengthen bilateral cooperation between the two countries. Discussions focused in particular on the fight against illicit trafficking and humanitarian action.
The commander of crew B of the BSAOM, Lieutenant-Commander Frédéric Ollive, was notably invited to discuss, in the company of the French Ambassador to Panama, Arnaud de Sury, with the Minister of the Government Janaina Tewaney and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dayra Carrizo on cooperation projects for the transport of humanitarian material in the Caribbean. The delegation then visited the Centro logistico regional de assistencia humanitaria (CLRAH), a humanitarian logistics structure located in Panama.
In 2020, in particular thanks to the deployments of Dumont d’Urville, the Armed Forces in the Antilles will have, in coordination with French and international regional organizations, provided aid to 12 countries in the Caribbean and Latin America by sending more than 100 tonnes of survival, protective and medical equipment.