From 28 August to 1er September was held the 2023 edition of the annual CAGOU exercise in New Caledonia. This training took place for the benefit of the Vendémiaire Surveillance Frigate (FS), the Overseas Support and Assistance Vessel (BSAOM) D’Entrecasteaux and the Overseas Patrol Boat (POM) Auguste Bénébig for its first participation in the exercise.

This sea trip was an opportunity for the vessels and their crews to train on a wide spectrum of missions and to implement all functional chains. The exercise consisted of various exercises in tactical evolution, towing, cross-visit training of suspicious vessels and assistance at sea.

Various aviation maneuvers were also performed, including in-flight winching and smooth rope to drop crews onto a ship from a helicopter. The latter made it possible to validate the operational qualification of the detachment of the 34F flotilla (Dauphin helicopter) embarked on the FS Vendémiaire as well as that of the surface units deployed within the Armed Forces of New Caledonia. The National Gendarmerie and the Air and Space Force also took advantage of the presence of units at sea to maintain their landing qualifications.

The exercise enabled FANC units, including the crew of POM Auguste Bénébig, to increase their level of operational readiness and strengthen the close joint collaboration necessary for French action in the South Pacific Ocean, in order to ensure sovereignty over our territorial waters and control of our exclusive economic zones.

The Armed Forces of New Caledonia (FANC) allow the France to have a permanent military presence in the South Pacific Ocean in order to protect French interests in the region. As such, they maintain the military partnerships of the France in this area of strategic interest. With more than 1,450 military personnel, the FANC provide regular support to State action missions at sea. They have the capacity to intervene to deal with a security or climate crisis affecting the area. The FANC regularly shares its expertise in the field of assistance to populations affected by natural disasters, or maritime security with security and defence forces of partner countries in the South Pacific.