Around 40 Royal Navy and Royal Marine personnel and two Wildcat helicopters have joined the French naval task force, Jeanne D’Arc, for a five-month mission to the Indian Ocean and the Far East.
The ship’s port calls will include Jakarta, Bali, Darwin, Saigon and Singapore. British personnel will take part in amphibious exercises and Defence Engagement. This builds on the UK’s very successful participation in last year’s Jeanne D’Arc mission.
The UK’s contribution to France’s annual Jeanne D’Arc naval deployment demonstrates a shared commitment from both countries to enhance their maritime cooperation in home waters and around the world, in support of global security and prosperity and protection of freedom of navigation. This priority was agreed at the UK-France Summit in January 2018.
The deployment is part of the UK’s wide-ranging programme of bilateral defence cooperation with French forces, which includes the development of the Combined Joint Expeditionary Force, a rapidly deployable joint UK-French force that can respond to crises.
British and French forces also operate together as members of NATO, with France agreeing to contribute troops to the UK-led Enhanced Forward Presence (EFP) battlegroup in Estonia in 2019.
French Navy has deployed its amphibious assault ship, FS Dixmude (L9015) and a La Fayette class general purpose frigate, FS Surcouf (F711) for the mission.
The deployment will be also joined by around 45 U.S. Marines, and 2 Spanish Cougar helicopters in addition to the 2 British Wildcat helicopters. They will join French Navy task force for drills aboard the Dixmude amphibious assault ship for operational training of officer cadets of the Navy for 4 months in the Indo-Pacific region.