From 5 to 7 April, in the north of the Australian continent, the Jeanne d’Arc group conducted several maneuvers with aircraft from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and a patrol boat from the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The Australian and French soldiers have implemented their know-how and strengthened their knowledge of each other.
During these joint training sessions, the Australian and French soldiers had to react to an approaching two F-35 fighters, playing an aerial threat.
This training was an opportunity for the PHA ‘s central operation to work with F-35 fighters and allowed the sailors to strengthen their ability to detect a 5th generation aircraft , while working with an RAAF P8 whose role is to share tactical situation monitoring in the area with the whole force.
As part of this exercise, the Australian patrol vessel Cape Peron then acted as a suspicious vessel arriving to meet PHA Diksmuide in the middle of the Torres Gulf. A survey team made up of a dozen student officers was sent on board to conduct a flag survey and a visit to the ship. The three buildings then chained several maneuvers of tactical evolution.
These various activities illustrate the desire of the two navies to cooperate more in the Indo-Pacific zone and to increase their interoperability. They are consistent with the strategic orientation signed by the Chiefs of Staff of the Australian and French navies on April 6th.
Cooperation between Australia and the Armed Forces of New Caledonia (FANC) is also close. Australian soldiers train regularly with the FANC, during numerous large-scale exercises (LAPEROUSE, KAKDU, TALISMAN), and within the framework of fisheries police operations (NASSE, RAI BALANG).
Through these sequences of cooperation, the Australian and French armies contribute to regional stability, respect for freedom of navigation and the law of the sea in the Indo-Pacific.
They also provide remarkable expertise and assistance in the field of humanitarian crisis management, as shown by the actions carried out for the benefit of Vanuatu at the beginning of March 2023. In this essential area, the French and Australian soldiers will continue their exchanges at the end of April during Exercise CROIX DU SUD, off New Caledonia. This exercise will bring together nearly twenty nations who will train together around the themes of rescuing the population in the event of a natural disaster and the evacuation of nationals.
The JEANNE D’ARC 2023 mission is a long-term operational deployment around the world thanks to which France ensures its presence in several areas of major strategic interest, while offering a concrete and realistic training framework for on-board student officers.