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Till the next port of call

Mission Jeanne d’Arc, made up of the amphibious assault ship/landing platform dock (LPD), Mistral, and the frigate, Courbet, called at the Mumbai port between March 29 and April 3, having set sail from the French military base in Djibouti before heading for Vietnam. It is for the third consecutive year that France has deployed this important mission in the Indian Ocean, the China Seas and the Pacific region.

On each occasion, France has chosen to call at an Indian port: Visakhapatnam in 2015 and Kochi in 2016. At the time, it had just carried out an evacuation operation in Yemen in coordination with the Indian Navy, as part of providing Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), for which our LPDs are among the best in the world, given their cargo capacities and deployment capabilities.

These port calls always give rise to enriching interactions between navies. The 2017 edition was no exception, with numerous reciprocal visits and exercises carried out with our officer cadets. I was able to observe this first-hand alongside Rear Admiral Didier Piaton, French Joint Forces Commander in the Indian Ocean (ALINDIEN). But over the past two years, these calls have acquired a special dimension; they reflect and support the swift development of cooperation between our two countries.

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