French Navy vessels, FS Dixmude (L9015) and FS Surcouf (F711) departed Toulon for the Jeanne D’Arc 2018 deployment to the Indian Ocean and the Far East, on Feb. 26, 2018.
Jeanne D’Arc is a joint and combined operational deployment of an amphibious battle group focused on operational training of young officers and on international cooperation. According to the Navy, 133 young French and foreign officers have embarked on the vessels for training in the Indo-Pacific region.
The taskgroup will transit Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean to reach the final destination of Southeast Asia. The ships will conduct joint exercises and training with the regional navies during the deployment to increase interoperability.
The French Army is participating in the deployment with an onboard tactical group (GTE) of about 150 soldiers from the 3rd Marine Infantry Regiment (3e RIMa) and the 5th Overseas Combat Regiment (5 RIAOM). This detachment will be supported by two Gazelle helicopters, present to Djibouti and an Air mobile Subgroup (SGAM) of about thirty soldiers. Finally, ten sub-lieutenants the special military school of Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan will embark on a training course at the end of mission.
The taskgroup is also joined by 45 U.S. Marines, around 40 Royal Navy and Royal Marine personnel, 2 British Royal Navy Wildcat helicopters, and 2 Spanish Cougar helicopters.
The ships are scheduled to return to their homeport on July 20, 2018.
France is the only European country that have a permanent presence in the South Pacific through its pre-positioned forces in French Polynesia and New Caledonia.