The Surveillance Frigate (FS) Vendémiaire participated in the international maritime exercise KAKADU organized in Darwin by the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force from 12 to 24 September. On this occasion, the French vessel tested its operational capabilities in an inter-allied environment.
This major exercise brought together 19 combat vessels and 24 aircraft from 30 different nations. The spectrum of real-world training was wide, ranging from police operations at sea to high-intensity maritime warfare.
The Vendémiaire set sail from Noumea on 31 August to reach Darwin on 12 September and begin the dockside phase of the exercise. The surveillance frigate was then integrated into a Task Group of 6 leading ships, including the Japanese Navy’s destroyer Kirisame and the latest-generation Australian frigate HMAS Perth, to conduct activities from the top of the spectrum. The Vendémiaire and the Kirisame had already cooperated a few weeks earlier off Noumea, during the trilateral exercise LAPEROUSE 2022 which also integrated the Australian frigate HMAS Warramunga.
During the KAKADU sea phase, a crew exchange took place between HMAS Perth and Vendémiaire and an offshore refueling exercise with HMAS Stalwart was successfully conducted. This phase ended with joint maneuvers, training for the relocation of buildings and an exercise to implement on-board missiles.
In the last phase, the Vendémiaire was able to practice anti-aircraft, anti-ship force and anti-submarine warfare maneuvers in Anson Bay, south-east Australia.
Thanks to the commitment of the Vendémiaire, the French armies have demonstrated their ability to operate within a multinational combat group and to act in the Indo-Pacific zone whose France is a sovereign nation.
Within their area of permanent responsibility, the main missions of the 1,450 soldiers of the Armed Forces in New Caledonia (FANC) are to ensure the sovereignty of the France, to animate regional cooperation and to maintain privileged relations with all the riparian countries. The FANC regularly commit their resources to operations to help the population, in support of other State services.
The name Kakadu evokes an Aboriginal culture of northern Australia, established for about 50,000 years on the banks of the Alligator River. It is also the name of the Australian National Park located 170 km southeast of Darwin where there are remains of Aboriginal art dating back 20,000 years.