The armed arm of the European EMASOH (European-led Maritime Awareness Strait of Hormuz) mission, Operation Agénor, reached its full operational capacity (FOC) on February 25, 2020, the French Armed.
“Agénor” is a maritime surveillance operation which aims to strengthen Europe’s ability to assess the situation and monitor maritime activity, and to guarantee freedom of navigation in the Arabian Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.
Headquartered in the French naval base in Abu Dhabi, the TF 474 (Task Force 474) brings together French, Dutch, Danish, Belgian, Greeks, Portuguese, Italians and Germans military. This multinational operation, implemented at the initiative of France, now accumulates 1,152 hours of maritime traffic monitoring in the Strait of Hormuz.
“France (…) demonstrates the relevance of its mechanism of pre-positioned forces which allows this deployment. In addition, the operation’s staff is deployed from French forces stationed in the United Arab Emirates,” the French Armed Forces Ministry said.
The 614 sailors deployed at sea or in the air under the TF474 “participate in the stability of maritime trade and regional economic flows, in a spirit of de-escalation of tensions,” the French MoD adds.
Two frigates, The Forbin (French Navy) and De Ruyter (Royal Netherlands Navy) are currently under operational control and tactical command of the operation. Besides the vessels, AGENOR since March includes an Atlantique 2 Maritime Patrol Aircraft and 20 personnel from the French Navy’s Flotille 23F squadron deployed at Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE.
The use of an ATL2 for this type of operation is not a first. Already renowned for its versatility and flexibility of use, this MPA crossed a new milestone in 2013 by considerably improving its image acquisition capability thanks to the integration of a WESCAM gimbal, which provides the crew with high quality images and videos day and night.