On Friday, June 16, 2023, the tripartite minehunter (TMC) Orion set sail for its last sea trip. On this occasion, a third of its 28 pashas were able to make the trip and embark on this emotional memorial sequence. This embarkation was marked by the presence of its first commander, Captain Bourbon, who participated in its armament in the 1990s.
After a dense first half of 2023 during which the vessel and its crew experienced intense activity, between operational readiness training (MECO), participation in the major ORION 23 exercise, deployment in Egypt or access surveillance missions to French ports, a page is turning. It is now, and for the next five months, to conduct disarmament operations: unloading of equipment, cleaning of premises, closure of hull orifices… To do this, the sailors on board and the industrialists of Naval Group will work together, first as a formed crew, then thanks to a disarmament nucleus of about 10 people until the end of November.
Entering active service on January 14, 1986, the Orion served in the surface forces for more than 37 years. During its long operational career, the ship has had three home ports (Lorient, Brest and Toulon since 2004); it has crossed the Suez Canal seven times and experienced 13 major technical stops. It has travelled nearly 95,000 nautical miles, more than four round-the-world voyages, and countermined more than 115 explosive devices.