After 27,500 km travelled, the amphibious helicopter carrier (PHA) Dixmude, the frigate La Fayette and their 800 sailors and soldiers of the Army, including 160 student officers, docked in Toulon on July 13. They left the France on February 8 to embark on a world tour and a mission rich in operations, training and international cooperation. In total, the mission has 10 stopovers on 4 continents and 23 international cooperation actions.
The JEANNE D’ARC 2023 group began its mission on 8 February by crossing the Mediterranean through the Strait of Messina in order to conduct a first exercise with an Egyptian frigate on 14 February. The next day, she sailed through the Suez Canal to sail in the Red Sea and then through the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait.
In the Indian Ocean, the group has joined Operation ATALANTA to combat illicit trafficking. On March 3, more than a ton of drugs was seized on two dhows simultaneously by the Diksmuide and the Lafayette. The ships then stopped in Cochin, India, where the Ship-Based Tactical Group (EWG) joined the 91st Indian Infantry Brigade for the FRINJEX 23 ground exercise from 6 to 9 March.
At the opening of the Bay of Bengal from March 13 to 14, the PHA and frigate then conducted the multinational maritime exercise LA PEROUSE with six other Indian, American, Australian, British and Japanese naval vessels as well as a Canadian naval staff. After a passage through the Strait of Malacca, the group stopped in Singapore from March 18 to 22 where the EWG conducted firing exercises with the Singapore Army.
The next stop in Jakarta allowed them to take part from 26 to 28 March in the urban combat exercise GARUDA-GUERRIER 23 with the 328Th Paratrooper Battalion of the Indonesian Army. Task Group (TG) JDA 23 then set sail for Oceania through the Sunda Strait, with three Australian officers preparing several air defence training sessions with Royal Australian Air Force F35s and a Royal Australian Navy patrol boat from 5 to 7 April. From 11 to 13 April, a stop in Townsville allowed the EWG soldiers to train alongside their Australian counterparts. In parallel, the Lafayette stopped in Cairns for exchanges with the units of the Australian Navy stationed in this military port.
The navigation continued in the Pacific Ocean with a stopover in Nouméa before the TG took part in the exercise of the Armed Forces in New Caledonia (FANC) CROIX DU SUD 2023 from April 24 to May 6. This major training enabled French forces, along with 18 other nations, to prepare for a relief operation for populations after a natural disaster.
While participating in the fisheries police in the French Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and more generally in the surveillance of this activity within the framework of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, the PHA and the frigate reached Polynesian waters after a passage in Fiji and Tonga between May 9 and May 12, which enabled the command to exchange views with the local authorities.
The stopover in Papeete from May 17 to 21 allowed “La Jeanne” to return to the island of Tahiti after 21 years of absence. The GTE and the amphibious flotilla conducted training on this island and that of Raiatea with the Armed Forces in French Polynesia (FAPF).
Having crossed the Pacific, the Jeanne d’Arc 2023 group intervened from June 1 to 3 in the ZEE of Clipperton. Maritime surveillance, fishing police at sea and depollution and demining missions on land have been carried out there. The stopover in Mexico in Acapulco from June 5 to 9 was once again an opportunity to conduct several cooperation activities on land with training between the GTE and the 22nd Mexican Marine Infantry Battalion then at sea with the patrol boat Benito Juárez.
After the Pacific, the PHA headed for the first time in the Caribbean Sea through the Panama Canal. On June 15, the two buildings of the Jeanne d’Arc 2023 group covered the 80 km of this French structure in 10 hours. A few days later, on June 18, the Dutch patrol boat Groningen joined the group for several exercises at sea. The last passage ashore took place in Guadeloupe and Martinique between June 21 and 26. At the dawn of the hurricane season, Diksmuide rolled out the action plan of the Armed Forces in the Antilles (FAA) by sheltering its buildings against the arrival of tropical storm BRET.
Before that, the amphibious and land resources of the PHA were able to participate in the evacuation exercise of CHEMBE nationals.
Finally, the Jeanne d’Arc 2023 mission ended with the crossing of the Atlantic Ocean and the passage of the Strait of Gibraltar and an arrival in Toulon on July 13 after more than five months of mission.
In total, the Jeanne d’Arc 2023 mission represents 155 days of deployment, 10 stopovers on 4 continents and 23 international cooperation actions.