The vessels composing the Carrier Strike Group (CSG) departed Toulon on Tuesday, January 21, for the “Foch” mission. This three-month long deployment will take the CSG, first, to the eastern Mediterranean to support the French forces of Operation Chammal, and then to the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea where its activities will mainly consists in cooperation exercises with American and European forces.
This deployment meets four major objectives:
- The operational deployment in areas of strategic interest for the benefit of European security and the stability of its approaches;
- To maintain the operational commitment of France and the French Navy in the fight against terrorism by contributing to the International Coalition against Daesh;
- To maintain the very high level of interoperability with France’s European and NATO partners;
- To maintain the quality of the relations which bind France and its international partners.
Charles de Gaulle’s CSG
Departing from Toulon, the CSG consisted of the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and its airwing, the multi-mission frigate (FREMM) Auvergne, the air defense frigate (FDA) Chevalier Paul, the command and refueling vessel (BCR) Var, the Hellenic Navy frigate HS Spetsai and a nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN).
Throughout the deployment, various French and allied vessels (Spanish, Portuguese, Belgian, Dutch and German) as well as an Atlantic 2 maritime patrol aircraft will integrate or have interactions with the CSG.
For the “Foch” deployment, Charles de Gaulle‘s airwing includes 18x Rafale M, 2x E-2C Hawkeye aircraft, 1x NH90 NFH helicopter and 2x Dauphin helicopters.